The Patriots still are handling tight end Rob Gronkowski with caution.
Gronkowski did not travel with the team for its joint practices with the Washington Redskins, according to a source. Though it was surprising to see the Pats take the field without Gronkowski, who was limited through the first eight practices of training camp, the logic has merit.
Now, the question is: What’s next?
The Patriots’ next practice in Foxboro won’t be until at least Saturday, and they are scheduled to begin joint sessions with the Eagles on Tuesday. It’s unclear if the Patriots will unveil Gronkowski next week against an opponent, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he participated in individual and positional drills with his offensive teammates before departing to continue his rehab work elsewhere.
Gronkowski has maintained throughout camp the goal is to be ready by Week 1.
This is not at all surprising. The Patriots know their players will be more cautious around Gronk than the Redskins players will be so there's no point in risking re-injury at this point in the offseason. He's a high-risk/high-reward pick.