Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com
Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, told the Joe Rose Show on 560 WQAM in Miami that his client has not yet been cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon who is independently consulting with Gronkowski as he recovers from back and forearm surgeries.
“Up to this point, he hasn’t been cleared to play in a game,” Rosenhaus said Thursday. “He has not been cleared by Dr. Andrews, who is the supervising doctor.”
Although Gronkowski has yet to play in a game, he has taken part in every Patriots practice during the regular season, each time on a limited basis.
Coach Bill Belichick has continued to refer to Gronkowski as day to day.
“There’s a huge difference between being cleared to practice and being cleared to play in a game,” Rosenhaus said. “I’ve had great dialogue with Coach Belichick and the Patriots’ medical staff and Rob and his family. Everybody’s on the same page, except it’s gotten a lot of play in the media and all these unsubstantiated sources.”
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has reported that Gronkowski has gone through practice as if he were going to play, even being tackled by teammates during contact drills, adding that some within the organization were unsure why Gronkowski has not played in a game.
Rosenhaus reaffirmed that Gronkowski will return to game action only after he has been cleared by Andrews, stating that the cautious approach by his client should be expected.
“All I can tell you [is] it’s really straightforward: When Rob is cleared, he’ll play,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a big surprise to people that the guy has a very cautious approach right now, because he had four operations on that forearm and he had a back operation.”
There’s a huge difference between being cleared to practice and being cleared to play in a game.
” — Agent Drew Rosenhaus, on his client, Rob Gronkowski, still not being cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews
While many believed Gronkowski would have returned sooner, Rosenhaus expressed that the timetable for the 24-year-old tight end’s recovery has not been a surprise.
“Quite frankly, it’s not a huge upset that up to this point he hasn’t been cleared to play in a game,” he said. “We anticipated this. Hopefully he’ll be back soon, maybe even this weekend, but there’s no way to know until the end of the week when his doctors make that determination.”
Should Gronkowski return this weekend, he would provide a big boost to an offense that worked through extensive personnel turnover this offseason and continues to build chemistry through the first half of the season. The team opted not to place Gronkowski on the physically unable to perform list, which would have prevented him from practicing until after the team’s Week 6 game against the New Orleans Saints.
By keeping him on the 53-man roster, Gronkowski has been able to take part in practices with his teammates.
The Patriots have dealt with numerous injuries on both sides of the ball yet have climbed to a 5-1 start with a chance to sweep a division rival, the New York Jets (3-3), on Sunday.