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New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski Injury Controversy? Gronk Wants To Return, Family, Team Holding Him Out Until Week 6? [VIDEO]

Raimundo Ortiz
By Raimundo Ortiz @AroundtheMundo
on Sep 30, 2013 09:00 AM EDT
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Rob Gronkowski
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski dressed as an elf and visited Boston Children's Hospital despite ailing from a torn ACL/MCL. (Photo : Reuters)

Rob Gronkowski is arguably the best tight end in the NFL, and Tom Brady's top option in the passing game. With Brady having a slow start to the 2013 season statistically, and showing major frustration with rookie receivers, the Patriots should want Gronk back on the field as soon as possible. Right?

That may not be the case. According to reports, Gronkowski has been itching to suit up and get on the field, but there are those who wish him to remain sidelined.

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Prior to New England's Sunday Night Football win over the Atlanta Falcons, reports surfaced that people inside Gronkowski's "inner circle," including his family members and close friends, want him to take a few more weeks off to ensure he's 100 percent when he steps back on the turf.

The Boston Herald reported that his dissenting friends and family believe he can hold out for more time thanks to the Patriots being 3-0 (now 4-0) without him, and Sunday night's game being a non-conference opponent.

The Herald reported that this warring wasn't unique to last week either. The two sides have been at odds since training camp, apparently, when Gronkowski first started practicing. Reports had been bandied about that he could've potentially returned in Week 2, but The Herald said he'd always been targeting Week 6.

Money is likely not factoring into the decision to keep Gronk out for a few more weeks either. His bonus money doesn't kick in until 2015, and Gronkowski's salary next year is fully guaranteed. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in the case of both Gronkowski and Danny Amendola, the team's just being cautious.

"At the end of the day, we care about the players' long-term health and in the case of guys like Danny and Rob who are signed to this team for a long time, it's not about this week and next week, it's about the next 4-5 years and we collectively want to make the right decision," Kraft said.

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