FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski has missed his team's first two regular-season games, and he won't commit to playing in the third Thursday night against the Texans. But he is "satisfied" with how his injured hamstring is progressing.
"Feeling decent," Gronkowski said on Tuesday. "Yeah we'll see. Definitely gonna be a coaches decision, trainers decision, we'll all come together. But [I'm] just doing everything I can right now to be as healthy as I can be. Improving every single day, and basically just day-by-day right now and taking it one day at a time."
Gronkowski injured his hamstring on Aug. 15 in a joint practice with the Bears and he hhas been limited in practices during the regular season. In his absence, the team has leaned on tight end Martellus Bennett, who has played in 99 percent of the offensive snaps through two weeks.
"Feeling better every single day that goes on, every single week," Gronkowski said. "That's all I can ask for. Obviously you don't just wake up and you're 100 percent, but I'm improving every day. I'm satisfied with the improvements and every day getting better."
Gronkowski explained that it's been hard not being able to play on game days. He has maintained that if he could play, he would, and he said he was doing everything possible to make his return as quickly as possible. Especially with quarterback Tom Brady out, and now with fill-in starter Jimmy Garoppolo injured, the return of their All-Pro tight end would be a boon for the Patriots offense.
"It's super tough watching your guys," he said. "They work hard, they work super hard every single week. It's tough not to be out there with them, but I'm doing everything I can to be out there as soon as possible.
"We'll see when it is. But just gotta keep on working. It's great just to see the boys around here, the guys, the team, work hard every single day and as much as I can do with them, it's great."
Gronkowski had a light moment early in today's practice when he was the only player to walk onto the field in full pads. After a quick conversation, coach Bill Belichick told Gronkowski that he was not allowed to wear the pads, and Gronkowski took them off and tossed them aside.
"I havent been in full pads for a while," Gronkowski said with a laugh. "I kind of felt like I wanted to get used to it. Full pads is different. It feels different than having nothing on. That's part of the training process. Obviously I wasn't allowed to wear them. I just had to take them off. Really no big deal. I just like to feel it. You want to just get the feel of your shoulder pads when you haven't been in them that much."