Rob Gronkowski hasn't been officially ruled out for Sunday's game against the Eagles yet, but there's pretty much no way he's going to play.
This means that Scott Chandler will move up the depth chart and become Tom Brady's No. 1 tight end until Gronk returns. Chandler, signed as a free agent in the offseason from the Buffalo Bills, isn't going to try and replace Gronkowski, because he knows he can't do it.
Per Phil Perry of Comcast Sportsnet New England:
"I don't know that it's always that easy," he said before Wednesday's practice. "There's not a lot of Rob's walking around. I'm just doing what I can here. I'm focused on that. I'm not trying to be Rob because I would fail."
Chandler has been much maligned this season for not being involved in the offense. When he's been involved, he hasn't been very effective. He has five drops on 33 targets, but he came up big last week when Gronk went down. He hauled in two passes for 32 yards on the Patriots' final drive of regulation in Denver.
Many believed Chandler and Gronk lined up together in the red zone would cause nightmares for opposing defenses. It hasn't quite done that to this point, but Chandler said he isn't worried about his production or the way he's been used.
"I think that my whole goal coming here was to be a part of a winning team," he said. "So far we've been pretty successful. I'd like to see us continue to be successful. That's always been my goal."
"I think being where I'm at in my career and having been where I was," he said, "10-1 is the only stat that matters. I'm pretty excited about that."
He'll have as good a chance as any to get heavily involved in the offense this weekend, which would be a really welcomed sight. My fantasy team would be really happy.
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