Rob Gronkowski says injury serious enough to cast doubt on status

ByMike Reiss ESPN logo
Friday, September 9, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight endRob Gronkowski's injured hamstring is serious enough that hewouldn't guarantee that he will play in Sunday night's season-opening game against the Arizona Cardinals.

"Yeah, it boils to a coaching decision, the medical team, and myself. We'll all get together and collaborate and see where I'm at," Gronkowski said Thursday.

Gronkowski has been a limited participant in practice this week and when asked if he was 100 percent, he answered, "No, I'm not. Since that one time during practices versus the Bears [Aug. 15], I've just been week-to-week with a little hammy thing. So it's just been week-to-week, day-by-day, but I'm feeling good."

Gronkowski added that he "can't put a percentage on it, but just feeling better every day."

Elected a Patriots captain for the first time in his career this week, Gronkowski said he wants "to be out there so bad" to help the offense as Jimmy Garoppolo starts in place of Tom Brady, who is serving a four-game NFL suspension.

There was a travel bag in front of Gronkowski's locker, which could be viewed as an indication that he is scheduled to travel. The team departs for Arizona Friday.

Gronkowski's injury occurred when he pulled up while attempting to catch a pass from Brady along the sideline in a practice with the Bears on Aug. 15. Gronkowski walked off under his own power that day and returned to practice on a limited basis Aug. 24, but didn't play in either of the final two preseason games.

The Patriots kept four tight ends on their initial 53-man roster -- Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Clay Harbor and AJ Derby.

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