It looked like Rob Gronkowski was shielding his left arm in last night's game versus the Dolphins, but the Patriots coaching staff was happy to have him available even if he didn't look exactly like himself.
"I think it was great to have him out there," Josh McDaniels said on Monday. "Anybody coming off of an injury has to go through that process and get out there and play and go through it for the first time."
Gronkowski didn't admit that his arm was bothering him on the field, but he indicated that a week off during the bye will do him some good. He finished the Patriots' 28-0 win over the Dolphins with two catches for 42 yards.
He played in about a quarter of the team's snaps on Sunday, significantly fewer than the number of snaps he has played when fully healthy this season.
"I thought Rob did a good job of we knew what his role in the game was going to be," McDaniels said. "It wasnt going to be as extensive as maybe some other games. And so he did his job that we asked him to do and carried out his assignment and I thought that all in all it was a fairly productive day and also an opportunity for him to get out there and get his legs back and get into a game and hear the communication and the tempo and the pace and all the different things that happen when you havent played in over a month."
The Patriots are hoping that yesterday's action for Gronkowski will allow him to get back to full strength in a little less than two weeks, when they host either the Texans, Ravens or Colts in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs.
"Hopefully well be able to build off that this week and next week and have Gronkowski ready to get back into his role hopefully in the first playoff game," McDaniels said.