When the New England Patriots made the decision to carry tight end Rob Gronkowski on the active 53-man roster rather than place him on the physically-unable to perform list, it was a sign that he was one step closer to returning to action sooner rather than later.
Now, for the second-straight day, Gronk has made his way to the practice field to participate in team drills.
Gronkowski debuted at practice yesterday but was restricted later in the session, though that was to be expected. It’s unclear how much work, if any, he did in 11-on-11 drills during his first session. At the very least, it’s another visible sign of progress.
As noted in today’s Herald, there are whispers at Gillette Stadium that Gronkowski could play as early as the home opener in Week 2 against the Jets. Though that still seems a bit optimistic, it hasn’t been ruled out, which isn’t a bad thing.
It is still very unlikely that Gronkowski will suit up in Week One or Week Two of the regular season, but it almost seems guaranteed that he will be able to rejoin the team and play in a game by the end of September.
That is exactly what the Patriots — especially Tom Brady — want to hear.