As they look to rebound from a Week 4 loss on a short week, the Patriots will have to do it without Rob Gronkowski.
With a short window between a Sunday and a Thursday night, it’s not uncommon for previously unknown injuries to come up or players to be limited during a short practice week with previous ailments. So when New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was listed as questionable for Thursday night with a thigh issue, after dealing with (and playing through) a groin injury the previous couple weeks, it wasn’t too surprising.
Gronkowski made the trip to Tampa Bay with the team, making it even more likely he’d be good to go in some capacity for Thursday night against the Buccaneers. But a report from NFL Network’s’ Ian Rapoport Thursday morning pointed to Gronkowski being limited if he played, and the news got progressively worse through the afternoon.
Official inactives for Thursday night’s game will be declared about 90 minutes before kickoff, but it looks like Gronkowski will be atop the list for the Patriots. Offseason acquisition Dwayne Allen, who has yet to catch a pass this season, will start in his place. Running backs James White and Dion Lewis are also now in line for bigger passing game roles against Tampa Bay, as is wide receiver Danny Amendola.
So there’s time to get “Gronk” out of your fantasy football lineup for Week 5, and perhaps plug and play Allen or Buccaneers’ tight end Cameron Brate immediately from Thursday night’s game. But if we know anything about the Patriots, someone will step up and they’ll be just fine offensively against the Buccaneers. The other side of the ball is another matter entirely though, and it should be a high-scoring Thursday night game