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The New England Patriots started their OTA’s recently, but a big presence was missing for these practices. Rob Gronkowski, who recently had a fourth forearm surgery on May 21, was handed some more bad news recently, which has Patriots fans worried. Gronk will have to undergo another surgery in mid to late June, only this one isn’t on his forearm, it’s on his back.
Gronk has had a history of back issues dating back to college when he missed his entire Junior season to a back injury. That very back issue is the reason he fell to the second round and the Patriots were able to get the steal of the draft. With multiple surgeries on his arm this offseason and now an upcoming one on his back, many people are doubtful for the future of the NFL’s best tight end.
The news of a possible back surgery came out last month, but many people said that it doesn’t seem to be serious and the back should recover in a similar amount of time as the forearm, which means Gronk would not miss any additional time with the back.
Super agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Gronkowski, addressed the media recently saying ”In Rob’s case, it’s not a serious back surgery, it’s unrelated to the original surgery that he had as a junior in college.”
If this is true, that is great news for the Patriots. When reports first came out about a month ago, this was the belief about the back. It was said that it is more precautionary and has nothing to do with his injury from college. Patriots fans are holding their breath hoping that Gronk will be healthy once the regular season is here. If he were to miss the first few weeks, that is not a huge issue, as the team needs him to be healthy late in the season, where they have missed him in the last two years, including in the Super Bowl against the Giants. With Aaron Hernandez’s injury history as well, the Pats are hoping their two best offensive weapons can stay healthy to help this Welker-less offense put up big numbers.
With Gronk’s status for the season being uncertain, Aaron Hernandez is going to need to step up this year. Hernandez has been plagued with injuries over the course of his short career too, but it sounds like he will be ready to go once training camp starts. Second year Patriot Jake Ballard, who missed all last season recovering from a torn ACL, is also going need to step up in his first action with the Patriots after beating them in the Super Bowl with the Giants. Ballard, who is 6’6″, is another big target for Tom Brady to throw to, and will be a nice weapon especially when Gronk does come back.
The dark horse in all this is Aaron Dobson, the second round draft pick out of Marshall, is a big target that can stretch the field. Many people anticipate him having a big year with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Players like Dobson and Ballard will have to step up in Gronk’s absence, but if Gronk can fully recover and come back as the tight end we know, the Patriots offense could be better than ever.
Everyone will be keeping a close eye on Rob Gronkowski’s surgery and status over the next couple months. Gronk, who is notorious for his partying, is going to have a close eye on him during this recovery. Many people are not happy with his antics in the offseason, and are hoping he smartens up and lays low while he recovers.
The Patriots and their fans are hoping that he can come back to help the team win games and hopefully make it back to another Super Bowl. Everyone in the NFL will be on Gronk watch over the next couple months, and hopefully he will have a successful recovery and this will be the last we have to talk about it.