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Gronk far from a sure thing to play Week One


From time to time throughout the offseason, reports have emerged that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will be ready to go (or words to that effect) on Week One after suffering a torn ACL late in the 2013 regular season. Given his slow return from a broken arm last season, that seemed overly optimistic.

Gronkowski’s fairly slow start to camp has made it seem like much less than a sure thing.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Gronkowski’s anticipated Week One availability sits at 50-50, with perhaps a shade above the even-money proposition. It’s not a surprise; given the many surgeries and complications Gronkowski has endured in the past two years, there’s no reason to be reckless with his health.

Last year, he missed several weeks at the outset of the season due to concerns regarding whether his twice-broken and later infected arm was ready to be exposed to the physical stresses of full-contact football. This year, it’s an ACL recovery. If Gronkowski was careful with his arm, he’s definitely going to be careful with an area of the body that has a far more direct impact on his ability to move quickly on a football field.