It’s safe to say that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski’s announcement that he’s playing against the Dolphins this week didn’t come with the approval of coach Bill Belichick.
“I’m glad that Rob’s optimistic about this situation,” Belichick said, via CSNNE.com. “We’ll go through the week of practice and take a look at everything, everybody, and see where everybody’s at and try to do what we feel like is best for the team. With all due respect to Rob — I’m glad he feels the way he does — but, in the end, we’ll have to make the decision we feel like is best for the team and we’ll do that as we go through the week.”
If after thinking for a while you found it strange Gronk declared himself a go for Week 1 so early, and was specific about snaps, you're not alone. As the story put it, Belichick may be telling the truth or, given his distaste for sharing information, he may know exactly what the Patriots plan to do this Sunday. Either way, the Dolphins aren’t likely to get a clear idea of the team’s plans until much closer to kickoff so they’ll have to be prepared for all eventualities. The good news is, this week is a 1 p.m. game so we'll at least know if Gronk is active around 12 p.m. Sunday. If he is, he probably still warrants a start in your lineup even if he's limited in snaps. Like we said over the weekend, those snaps would likely include red zone and scoring chances.