The Patriots are smart to not play Rob Gronkowski

The Patriots continue to be one of the best run organizations in pro sports.

Reason for that is because they stay out of their own way.

The big story in the the NFL today --- that has nothing to do with deflated footballs, thank God --- is Packers wide-out Jordy Nelson ending his season after tearing his ACL on this play in an exhibition game against the Steelers.


But he was not the only player going down in the Packers-Steelers game over the weekend. Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey also suffered and ankle injury and may end up missing some serious time.
If you hadn't noticed there is a certain 6'6 265 pound tight end missing from Patriots preseason and it's a great thing to (not) see.

Why? Because it would be idiotic for Rob Gronkowski to be playing right now.

The All-Pro Tight End was on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show this morning and, after talking about being a virgin, he addressed not playing so far this preseason.
“It’s always up to the coach’s decision,” Gronkowski said. “I’m ready to play when my number’s called, whenever they want me to go in. I mean, it is preseason, we’ve been practicing hard, we’ve been going against each other. We had great practices with the Saints; it’s been going well.”

“It is what it is. I don’t really mind (sitting)," he said. "It’s always nice to get one (game in), but also practice is good, too. If you’re going full speed and you’re competing hard in practice, that can get you super ready, too, for Week 1.”
The now six year veteran is coming off his first healthy season in the last two years and will continue to be the best player on the Patriots not named Tom Brady in 2015.

But if he tweaks his hamstring or blows out his knee in these exhibition games, well than Gronk carries as much value a preseason game.

It's no secret that the aforementioned quarterback is playing in these games for more of an emotional reason.

A short of "screw you" to the NFL if you will.

But, lets be real, no one out there right now is who Brady will be playing with Week 1 or Week 5 depending on Judge Berman and the four time Super Bowl champion is getting nothing out of it.

Tom Brady will be fine regardless.

Julien Edelman has not seen the light of a preseason snap and neither has Gronk. It's either brilliant by the Patriots or just so much of a no-brainer that other teams think they are dumb for doing it.

Either way, Belichick is playing chess, while the league is playing checkers.

Follow Tyler on Twitter: @TylerSully