In Super Bowl XLVI, Jake Ballard of the New York Giants went down with a torn ACL, while his team went on to beat the New England Patriots. He has yet to play a game since. The interesting part of this situation was when the Patriots elected to take Ballard off waivers, knowing that he would likely miss the entire 2012 NFL season. Some speculated that it was a slight jab at the Giants, but it was likely because the Pats knew that they could allow Ballard to rehab, while fellow tightends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez kept things rolling.
-“I’m doing my best I can to be 100 percent,” Ballard said yesterday in his first meeting with the media since joining the Pats. “When I’m out here, I feel like I’m putting in good work and getting better.
-“I’m not full go for the whole practice. It’s not like they’re just turning me to the wolves. I talk with the trainers and coaches, and they all tell me what I’m limited to do and what they think I’m going to be able to do. We just gradually improve from there, week to week and day to day.”
Even is Gronk were to return within reasonable time, Ballard's snap count could be a major factor in easing Gronkowski back into the swing of things. How this whole situation plays out will only be revealed through time, but it looks like the team is handling Gronk's injury issues fairly well.