had to be carted off the field after a low hit from T.J. Ward
in New England's Dec. 8 game against the Browns
. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Talent has never been a question for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, but his recent injury history has cast durability concerns over the future of one of the league's most dynamic tight end threats.
Questions from early in the 2013 season regarding Gronkowski's willingness to play through injuries had quieted down as of late, but Patriots fans bristled when the 24-year-old tight end suggested that he was going to take his time as he recovered from the season-ending ACL injury for which he underwent surgery on January 7th.
Gronkowski hasn't been participating in OTAs with New England, instead "doing his own thing" as he attempts to recover from the injury.
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So far, so good. Gronkowski has suffered no setbacks during his recovery from the grisly injury that ended his season, according to ESPN Boston's Mark Reiss.
Returning from an ACL injury requires a significant amount of rehab and often takes up to a year, though in recent years we have seen some players return sooner than expected.
Gronkowski's status for Week 1 likely won't be determined until the last minute. The Patriots have always been extremely quiet regarding injuries, and they're likely to continue that philosophy, especially when it comes to the status of an important offensive weapon like Gronkowski.
The Patriots hope he can avoid the PUP list and return to action during the early portions of the season.