The Patriots won’t have two of their top offensive weapons on Sunday night against the Cardinals, for very different reasons.
Quarterback Tom Brady will miss the game due to his #DeflateGate suspension. Tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the game due to a hamstring injury.
The Patriots have announced that Gronkowski has been officially downgraded to out after not accompanying the team to Arizona. Also out, because they didn’t travel, are tackle Nate Solder and guard Jonathan Cooper.
Gronkowski suffered a hamstring injury in joint practices against the Bears on August 15. He recently described himself as “week-to-week” due to the injury.
His absence means that tight end Martellus Bennett will slide into the No. 1 spot for his regular-season debut as a Patriot. Bennett could get more chances in that capacity if it takes more weeks for Gronkowski’s injury to heal.
If Gronkowski doesn’t rest the injury totally and completely until it heals, the hamstring could be an issue all year long.