FOXBORO -- Gronk Watch 2014? Cancelled.
Bill Belichick on Wednesday morning said that the brilliant and brittle tight end will not begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
That doesn’t guarantee Gronk will be on the practice field and in full participation every day of camp as he comes back from an ACL tear suffered December 8. But he will be out there to some degree.
This means there’ll be no repeat of last training camp when Gronk’s uncertain status was a crutch story for the media through camp and well into the regular season. Then, Gronk was coming back from a twice-broken arm that got infected and had to be operated on multiple times. He also had surgery in the spring to repair a disk issue.
Gronkowski didn’t play until the seventh game of the Patriots season and when he did return, his handlers tried to turn his return to the field into a marketing opportunity. Hours after agent Drew Rosenhaus announced Gronk was cleared to play against the Jets, a video was released in which Gronk pushed a nutritional drink and talked at length about his status.
This season, no apparent effort was made to marry his torn ACL with a branding opportunity.