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Felger & Mazz: Patriots Pressuring Gronkowski To Be Ready For Week 1?

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Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is taken off of the field after an injury against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is taken off of the field after an injury against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Patriots rarely offer up injury information about their players, so when head coach Bill Belichick willingly told reporters on Wednesday that tight end Rob Gronkowski has been “cleared to play,” Ben Volin of the Boston Globe found that to be very curious and thinks the team is delivering some kind of message to the All Pro pass catcher.

ACL injuries are certainly not what they used to be. With modern medicine and the advancements in medical science, what used to be a career-ender can now be remedied in under a year. Gronkowski suffered an ACL/MCL tear in his right knee in December against Cleveland, had surgery on January 9 and appears to be right on schedule in terms of other players and their recovery from similar injuries.

But the same thing was said last summer too with Gronkowski’s forearm and back.

Gronkowski was not placed on the physically unable to perform list ahead of training camp last season, meaning he could conceivably return prior to the Week 6 cutoff. As it turned out, he ended up missing the first six games anyways and some felt he could’ve returned sooner.

Bill Belichick is hardly ever forthright in divulging injury information, so by announcing to the world that Gronkowski is all systems go, is that a challenge for him to be back Week 1?

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti discussed with Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe.

“This to me is Belichick looking at Gronkowski saying, ‘This is on you. We’re not going to help you stand on the sideline if you don’t want to play,'” said Mazz. “The Patriots are coming out of the gate and Belichick is telling Gronk point blank, ‘You’re not going on PUP in camp, which means we think you’re going to be ready Week 1.'”

Shaughnessy isn’t quite ready to go there and thinks the conspiracy theory is just that — a theory.

“I think we’re building into this more than there is. He’s so important to them. They’re not used to getting dictated by the agent or the player, but he’s the exception. I don’t know if they’re really throwing down the gauntlet that they’re going to dictate to him when he plays, or embarrass him by saying, ‘It’s on you.'”

“See I disagree. I think that’s entirely what this is. Letting everybody know that this is all on Gronk,” Mazz responded.”

Listen below for the full discussion:

Are The Patriots Rushing Rob Gronkowski Back?

Felger & Mazz

MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON

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