By all appearances Rob Gronkowski is progressing well from surgery in early January to repair a torn ACL and MCL. Though he hasn’t participated with his teammates in the offseason practices, he has been working with trainers on the field and in the weight room at Gillette.
Gronkowski suffered the injury Dec. 8 when then-Browns safety T.J. Ward dove helmet-first directly into his knee, and Gronkowski waited a month for the swelling to go down before having Dr. James Andrews perform surgery. He declined to put a timetable on his return and whether he can be available for the Patriots’ first game of the season on Sept. 7 at Miami.
Gronkowski, 25, has sat out of the team portion of organized team activities due to injury for the last three seasons, and is a strong candidate to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. That would mean he cannot participate with his teammates, but can work with trainers on the fields. The Patriots can take him off the PUP list at any time during training camp, but if he remains on the list for the start of the regular season, by rule he must sit out the first six games.
Week 1 will be about eight months into his recovery, so it's no sure thing that he'll be ready to play. We'll likely be wondering about his Week 1 status deep into August, making him a dicey early round pick on draft day.