BOSTON (CBS) – With Rob Gronkowski still sidelined from his off-season filled with surgeries, there were reports that the tight end and the New England Patriots are not on the same page when it comes to his health.
But on Wednesday, Gronkowski said those claims are not true.
“We were on the same page from the get-go and are still on the same page,” Gronkowski said following Wednesday’s practice session. “I’m progressing every week, feeling better every week, feeling stronger every week and getting better conditioning every week. Still sticking to the motto ‘day-by-day’ and it’s going good.”
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Gronkowski has been on the field practicing with the team since before the season inching towards a return, and said he has not received any pressure to return.
“No, not at all. Everything is great around here,” he said. “Just going out to practice with the team is helpful every single week to get the chemistry and timing back down. Being out of football, just the first few days (back) out there I can’t lie, it was like being a rookie again.”
Reports surfaced over the weekend claiming that Gronkowski’s inner circle doesn’t want the tight end to return until completely healthy, while some feel with all his practice he is ready to go. Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft said that is not the case on the 98.5 The Sports Hub’s airwaves on Sunday night.
“There is absolutely no disagreement between the team and Rob Gronkowski,” Kraft said on the Sports Hub’s Patriots Pregame Show ahead of New England’s win over the Atlanta Falcons. “With any player, they have to feel ready to step on the field. It’s not a place to be if you don’t feel you belong there.”
Those reporting the conflict look back at last season, when Gronkowski returned from a broken forearm in the final week of the regular season. Two weeks later, he re-broke the forearm in New England’s playoff win over the Houston Texans, and some say the Patriots rushed their star tight end back.
But for Gronkowski, the past is in the past.
“I don’t even like thinking about last year. It’s about moving on now and looking forward to tomorrow,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get out there and play some football – talk about some football,” he said when asked if he was tired of talking about the injuries.
We still don’t know if that week where Gronkowski finally plays some football is this week, and Gronkowski updated his situation the same way he has all season.
“Feeling good and progressing every week. I feel better than the previous week,” he said. “When I’m ready, I’m ready. If it’s this Sunday, next Sunday or the Sunday after, we’re just going day-by-day. So I can’t really tell you when that’s going to be. I’m just working hard and feeling better every day.”
Tune in to Patriots-Bengals on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5 FM at 11 a.m., and on WBZ-TV with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m.. Following the game, stay tuned for a full postgame show on the Sports Hub, and to Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38.