When ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter tweets or speaks, the world listens because most of the time he’s found to be accurate. Schefter said on ESPN that Rob Gronkowski, who many thought was heading to the physically unable to perform list may be avoiding that list having his 2013 season debut in the first half of the season.
Schefter gets “the sense” that Gronkowski could be available as early as the first month of the season in week four, but doesn’t expect anything sooner than that. We’ll get a sense on what the Patriots think if he is indeed kept off the PUP list, that will somewhat confirm the report coming from Schefter.
With how the offense looked against the Lions, the Patriots are definitely looking to have another weapon to take the pressure off of so many first year Patriots and off the running game who fumbled the ball twice.
Gronkowski is missed in the passing game for sure, but he also has a huge impact on the run game because he is such a good blocker. Without Gronkowski, a lot of what the Patriots want to accomplish on offense becomes more difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. Tom Brady is forced to do more with less and sometimes that added pressure can lead to mistakes by Brady and everyone on offense.
If Gronkowski is put on the PUP list, he will automatically miss the first six weeks of the season and even though having him for just two more games doesn’t seem like much, it is in the case of the NFL season. two games equals 1/8th of the NFL schedule and one game often separates playoff teams and non-playoff teams.