FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski is dealing with a hamstring issue that has limited his participation in practice this week, according to the first practice report of the season issued by the Patriots on Wednesday. The Patriots practiced in full pads on Wednesday and Gronkowski was not a full participant.
Gronkowski missed Sunday's practice altogether, but it's unclear as to whether or not he was dealing with the injury at that point in time. Should Gronkowski be at all limited in Week 1 when the Patriots play the Cardinals, fellow tight end Martellus Bennett could see a bigger role.
There is no real replacement for Gronkowski, however, which Cardinals coach Bruce Arians acknowledged during a press conference on Wednesday.
"There's only one Gronkowski, though," Arians said. "There's a bunch of other tight ends but there's one Gronk. He's a different animal when it comes to defending him."
Gronkowski's status, of course, bears watching as the week progresses. Others worth keeping an eye on are the Patriots offensive linemen who were limited in Wednesday's practice.
If Jonathan Cooper and Shaq Mason are unable to be a full go against the Cardinals, that could press rookie sixth-round pick Ted Karras into action. The Patriots released veteran guard Josh Kline on Wednesday morning. Left tackle Nate Solder was limited by a hamstring injury suffered against the Giants in the preseason finale last week. LaAdrian Waddle and Cameron Fleming are depth the tackles on the roster who could see time if Solder were to miss any playing time.
The good news for the Patriots? Receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and defensive end Jabaal Sheard were not listed on Wednesday's practice report, indicating that they were full participants in practice and not inhibited by any injuries. Edelman missed time during training camp after aggravating his left foot, while Amendola remained on the physically unable to perform list throughout camp, and Sheard suffered a knee injury in the preseason opener against the Saints.
Here is the full injury report for both the Patriots and Cardinals following Wednesday's practice...
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
DL Trey Flowers (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
OL Shaq Mason (hand)
LB Shea McClellin (shoulder)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (elbow)
OL Nate Solder (hamstring)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Lamar Louis (knee)
LB Kareem Martin (knee)
RB Stepfan Taylor (knee)
CB Justin Bethel (foot)
DT Frostee Rucker (neck)
LB Alex Okafor (biceps)