You didn’t really think Gronk was going to miss the Super Bowl, did you?
The New England Patriots were favored in Super Bowl LLII even with the status of their most unique offensive weapon, Rob Gronkowski, up in the air. Insert your joke about the NFL concussion protocol here.
But Gronk’s status was no laughing matter for Patriots fans, who realize that he’s the one player on the New England offense that even the Philadelphia Eagles’ formidable D will have trouble accounting for. As it turns out, there’s no reason to worry about not having him in uniform on Sunday.
At least that’s what Gronkowski himself says, as he told Kimberly Jones of NFL Network that he expects to be cleared as soon as Wednesday.
Gronkowski left the AFC Championship Game in the second quarter after a nasty hit by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church and did not return. He’s been in the league’s concussion protocol ever since, but he’s maintained all along that he’d be “ready to roll” on Sunday in Minneapolis.
This isn’t the most Gronk-reliant Pats offense thanks to the arrival of Brandin Cooks and others, but Tom Brady still looks for his tight end to make the most big plays. Gronkowski led the team in all the major receiving categories during the 2017 regular season, including receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Still, he’s been injured often during his eight-year NFL career, failing to make it through a complete season since 2011. That made his latest ailment a legitimate cause for concern, but it appears any fears that he’d miss the biggest game of the year can be dismissed, and if the Eagles want to claim their first Vince Lombardi Trophy, they’ll have to figure out a way to deal with Gronk to do it.