Rob Gronkowski practiced for about an hour and 15 minutes before watching the remainder of the workout, which spanned almost two and a half hours. Gronkowski was limited during his drills, mostly watching the walkthrough portion before jogging and stretching with the team and then participating during positional drills, which included ball control and agility work, blocking and route running. He wore a sleeve around his right knee and the bulky brace on his left arm.
Gronkowski did not take part in any of the team’s 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills, so all of his reps were against air. He lined up when the offense went through running formations and caught a handful of passes from Tom Brady in simple route-running drills. He did take part in one basic ball control drill midway through the practice when a defensive player would try to strip the ball, but Jamie Collins took it easy on Gronkowski as they jogged sideline to sideline.
On two occasions when the Pats practiced kickoffs, Brady, Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Kenbrell Thompkins worked on an adjacent field. They ran through a variety of routes, including fade patterns, screen passes and crossing routes. Gronkowski actually came down flat-footed after one leaping catch, which looked awkward from this vantage point, but he jogged back to the line without pause.
After practice, Brady and Gronkowski worked together going through the route tree as they traversed the field. Again, it looked like some quality conditioning work.
Gronkwatch 2014 is underway. The team is expected to ease him in as he continues to recover from ACL surgery. At this point, he is in the seventh month of his recovery and is aiming for a Week 1 return. Owners who draft Gronk in the early rounds should expect a setback or two. Delanie Walker is an ideal backup with his low cost (13th round ADP) and Week 9 bye.