Gronkowski on Miami game return: I wasn't that confident

981829.jpg

Gronkowski on Miami game return: I wasn't that confident

Rob Gronkowski made the rounds on Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVII Thursday. While on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show, the Patriots tight end gave an update on his twice-surgically repaired forearm.
The arms doing all right; just casted it up, he said. Got a lot of time to heal now. So, theres no hurry, no rush. Just taking it week by week and day by day, and just getting it stronger every day. So, Im improving every week. Its the offseason now, so, no time to rush it. Get it 100-percent before camp starts.
Gronkowski's season ended after he re-fractured his left arm in New England's 41-28 Divisional Playoff win over Houston. The injury occurred when he landed hard trying to catch a pass during the Patriots' second series of the game.

Right when I landed obviously I was in huge pain, he recalled. I knew there was something wrong right when I hit. I just wasnt sure what it was because sometimes you get a stinger, sometimes you get a charley horse and they go away after two minutes they just hurt real bad, real quick for like two minutes. So, I was just hoping it was that, like a quick stinger, hitting your joint in your elbow or something where it just numbs your arm real quick. I was just hoping it was one of those. But the pain wasnt going away, obviously, and obviously it broke.
It wasnt the way I wanted to go out. Definitely it wasnt. It is what it was. Thats what happened.
The arm originally broke November 18 in New England's game against Indianapolis. Gronkowski missed the team's next five games before returning to action in the season finale.
The Patriots beat Miami that December day, but the tight end had just two catches in his comeback. It appeared, just by the way he was blocking, that Gronkowski wasn't playing at full capacity. He admitted as much on Thursday.
I really wasnt that confident obviously going in, because obviously I was using one hand, as you can see, he said. I was just getting used to it and all, just getting used to the flow of the game again, its good to get the speed down and all that, and just getting me prepared going into the playoffs, playing in that Miami game.
If the doctors didnt clear me and they said it wasnt smart to play in the Miami game, then I wouldnt have. But the doctors cleared me and they said I was good to go. Obviously I want to be out there whenever I can get out there. So, right when they said I was cleared, I was definitely ready to go.
The Houston game came two weeks later.
Despite the second break, the subsequent setback, Gronkowski maintains he has zero regrets about taking the field for the postseason.
I couldnt really tell you if it was healed or not," he said. "It felt good. Just going into the playoff game I felt ready, I felt confident about it. Like I said, it was just a freak accident. It didnt go the way I planned. It broke in a different spot."

Report: Butler expected to be at OTAs this week

malcolm-butler-nfl-patriots-picard.png

Report: Butler expected to be at OTAs this week

When Patriots corner Malcolm Butler wasn't on the field for last Thursday's OTA, it sparked questions as to whether or not he might be holding out for a new contract. Voted into the Pro Bowl last season, Butler is scheduled to make $600,000 in base salary in 2016 -- well under market value for a player of his caliber. 

ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss reported over the weekend that Butler has told those close to him that he has plans to push for a contract adjustment this offseason.

Might that push include a holdout? It's unclear, but on Tuesday Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported that Butler is expected to be in attendance for Patriots OTAs this week. Howe went on to note that he was given "a strong indication" that Butler's absence last week was not related to his contract.

The Patriots will hold two more volunatry OTA sessions on Wednesday and Thursday that will be closed to the media. The team held three such sessions last week, with Thursday's as the lone practice open to reporters. Mandatory minicamp will be held from June 7-9. 

If Butler shows up to remaining OTAs and through minicamp, then it will be an indication that he's chosen not to attempt to gain leverage in negotiations by withholding his services. Yet at the same time, his presence on the field won't necessarily mean that he's be satisfied to continue playing under the deal that he has thoroughly outperformed through his first two professional seasons.