NFL Rumors: Rob Gronkowski Injury Update, New England Patriots Expect Tight End Back By Week 3? [VIDEO]

Mike Smollins
By Mike Smollins @MikeSmollins
on Sep 13, 2013 03:00 PM EDT
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Rob Gronkowski
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski

In some rare good news on the injury front for the New England Patriots, reports indicate that the team could conceivably have tight end Rob Gronkowski take the field in Week 3 when it takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sept. 22.

Gronkowski, who broke his arm in Week 11 last season and reinjured it in the Patriots 41-28 divisional round playoff win against the Houston Texans, was expected to be out for at least the first four weeks of the season. Gronkowski missed the team's Week 1 23-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills and sat out Thursday night when the Patriots (2-0) defeated the New York Jets 13-10.

The Patriots offense could use some weapons, as Tom Brady was noticeably upset a couple of times last night when his receivers either ran the wrong route or couldn't hold on to passes.

Gronkowski practiced in full pads with the team and looks to be well on his way to a full recovery and a possible Week 3 appearance. If he misses Week 3 against Tampa Bay, he will definitely be ready by Week 4 when the Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 29, according to

Despite being 2-0, the Pats barely squeaked out their two victories and their offense has not looked as explosive as it has in recent years, so the addition of Gronkowski could be a huge lift to the team.

A video update on his possible return can be found here.

The Patriots are without tight end Aaron Hernandez due to his indictment in the murder case involving Boston semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, and receiver Danny Amendola is sidelined for two-to-six weeks with a groin injury. The Patriots also lost running back Shane Vereen until at least Week 8 due to wrist surgery.

Gronkowski had a solid year for New England in 2012, garnering 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns. Entering his fourth professional season, all with New England, Gronkowski has appeared in 43 games and has caught 187 passes for 2,663 yards and 38 touchdowns. His career-high for touchdowns is 17, which he notched in 2011.

New England hopes that a dynamic piece of their offense could be back in Week 3.

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