Rob Gronkowski hasn’t played since week 3 of the 2021 NFL season. He also won’t be returning to the pitch in week six.
The Buccaneers have already ruled out Gronkowski for their Thursday Night Football game against the Eagles. This is the third game in a row Gronkowski will miss due to an injury he sustained against the Rams.
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Gronkowski was injured after being hit hard in a catch against Los Angeles. He went to the locker room after the play.
He would eventually come back into the game, but it’s amazing that he did. His injuries were of a particularly brutal variety.
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What is Rob Gronkowski’s injury?
Gronkowski told Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer that he had suffered “four cracked ribs, a broken rib and a punctured lung” during that game against the Rams. Despite all of that, the Bucs chose not to put him on IR.
In fact, the Buccaneers believed Gronkowski might be able to play against his former team, the Patriots, in Week 4. That’s part of why the team chose not to put him in the injured reserve.
“We’ve been hopeful all week that Gronk will be ready,” a team source told ESPN. “It’s a different breed.”
Gronkowski never made enough progress to play. As such, the team held him up for the team’s win over the Patriots and he also missed the team’s Week 5 victory over the Dolphins.
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How long is Rob Gronkowski away?
Gronkowski has now missed three games, the minimum required number for players on IR to miss, but it doesn’t look like many more will be missing.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Gronkowski was “very close” to returning during media availability on Monday. He then said that Gronk was doing “very good progress” The next day. However, the Bucs clearly didn’t feel comfortable enough to play him over a short week, and that’s why they ruled him out.
It looks like Gronkowski should have a good chance of returning to Bucs squad in Week 7 given Arians’ recent comments. His status will be one to watch when the Buccaneers return to training after their brief leave after Thursday’s game.