The New England Patriots are taking an extra-cautious approach with their star tight end.
Rob Gronkowski will not play on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans while nursing back and ankle injuries, according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
#Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (back, ankle) won’t play Sunday vs #Titans, source said. The team is taking the smart, cautious approach by making sure he’s back after the bye at full strength to close the season strong.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 10, 2018
This is the safe play for the Patriots. Gronkowski hasn’t been himself since Week 6 against Kansas City and has missed two of New England’s last three games. With a bye week following a matchup with the Titans, Gronkowski will have some extra time to heal before traveling to New York to face a reeling Jets team.
If the plan works, New England could have a healthy Gronk for a home stretch that includes games against Minnesota and Pittsburgh.
Overall, it has not been a successful season for the 29-year-old — even as the Patriots lead the AFC East with a 7-2 record. He’s scored just one touchdown and isn’t even halfway to the more than 1,000 receiving yards he racked up in 2017.
“It’s been more challenging,” Gronkowski told the Boston Globe this week. “But it’s just little obstacles in the way. It’s life. You’ve got to take them on. That’s what I’m doing and I’ve got to get back to where I need to be, be myself when I get back and it’ll all be good.”
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