Pats TE Gronkowski won’t play vs. Bengals

Rob Gronkowski did not travel with the New England Patriots to Cincinnati and will not play Sunday against the Bengals, delaying the star tight end’s season debut by at least another week.

Gronkowski is recovering from back and forearm injuries. He has not played yet this season.

Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who is listed as questionable, is traveling with the team.

Amendola has missed each of the past three games while nursing a groin injury suffered in Week 1. The receiver said he had a “good practice” on Friday and is “looking forward to Sunday.”

Amendola’s potential return comes at a time when the Patriots have three other receivers on the injury report — rookies Aaron Dobson (neck) and Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder) and special teams captain Matthew Slater (wrist). Dobson and Thompkins are both questionable for Sunday’s game, while Slater is doubtful.

Without Gronkowski, the Patriots will have just two players at tight end on the 46-man game-day roster — Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan.

New England has been turning to more two-back sets, with fullback James Develin, over multiple tight-end packages this season.

New England also will be without running back Stevan Ridley, who is out with a knee injury, and special teams member Tavon Wilson. Wilson plays on the “Big 4” units — kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt coverage and punt return. He was downgraded to out Saturday.

Running backs Brandon Bolden (knee) and Leon Washington (thigh) have been limited in practice this week and each is listed as questionable.

The Patriots made a pair of roster moves Saturday to finalize their 53-man roster, promoting rookie safety Kanorris Davis and rookie linebacker Ja’Gared Davis from the practice squad.

Information from’s Field Yates was used in this report.

  • Covered Patriots since 1997
  • Joined ESPN in 2009
  • ESPN NFL Insider
  • Joined ESPN in 2009
  • Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books

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