According to a Mike Petraglia report on WEEI.com, the Patriots had expected Gronkowski back on the field in week three. There has been some concern regarding the stability of his left forearm after multiple surgeries over the off-season. Because there was an infection at the surgical site, some doctors feel that the sturdiness of the bone has been jeopardized.
Representatives for Gronkowski (and his parents) have suggested that he continue to sit out until it can be determined that the bone is strong enough to withstand the pounding and punishment of a live football game. What the Patriots don't need is for Gronk's arm to make him a target on the field if opponents think he's trying to protect it.
So we wait yet another week. A week where the Pats will be hosting the always tough, undefeated New Orleans Saints and the Drew Brees led high scoring offense. In a season where every able body is critical to the team, it's been tough to watch the floundering Patriots who are really lucky to be sitting atop the AFC East at 4-1. Injuries have plagued the young team making it difficult for Tom Brady to settle into a rhythm with his new receiving core and this week is going to be another tough one.
Despite winning their first four games, the Patriots offense has been dismal. They rank 17th in the NFL in third-down conversions and 31st in red-zone offense. There are only 32 teams... Last season they led the league in both categories. The four teams they have beaten are a combined 6-13—not impressive.
This week will be the real test of how this offense deals with a really good team — especially coming out of a week where they scored a measly six points. Personally, I'm not feeling good about their chances. (But I'll still pick them in the pool...) I don't like being a "glass half empty" fan. It's like before... in the dark days of the Pats fandom. Someone please make it stop.