BOSTON (CBS) — Some bad short-term news and good long-term news on the health status of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was delivered on Sunday morning.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Gronkowski is not expected to play Sunday against the Bears. That much was mostly expected after Gronkowski didn’t travel with the team to Chicago on Saturday.
But Rapoport added that “the belief is he did not suffer a long-term injury, nor one that will keep him out long.”
“My understanding is his back locked up on him during Friday’s practice,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “This is not expected to be a long-term injury. No lasting effects for the following week. And … the Patriots have dealt with this before.”
Considering Gronkowski’s long history with back troubles, that would figure to be a best-case scenario for a midseason back injury.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out, Gronkowski being healthy next week means he’ll likely be able to play in his hometown of Buffalo on Monday Night Football.
Gronkowski, 29, has caught 26 passes for 405 yards and one touchdown this season. He caught three passes for 97 yards last week against Kansas City, including a 39-yard reception to set up the game-winning field goal.
Rapoport also reported that Julian Edelman, Sony Michel and Josh Gordon will all play Sunday in Chicago.