Jul 24, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs through drills during training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski held out of joint practices

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Fans of Rob Gronkowski will have to wait a little longer to see the tight end hit the field in a new capacity. While that news may not be what Patriots fans in general want to hear, it should be mostly encouraging. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, the move is strictly precautionary.

Lack of practice has rarely affected Gronkowski in the past. He was also an active participant in the training camp practices leading up to this series taking place in conjunction with the Washington Redskins, which gives credence to the claim that this is nothing more than a precaution. If there was any real injury concern, Gronkowski never would have touched the field to this point. Instead, it appears the team is content to save their best skill player for the games and practices that matter most.

Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL late last season and it was widely expected he’d be unable to start the 2014 season mainly based on the history of players recovering from such an injury. As is often the case in this decade though, Gronkowski’s freakish athleticism and trained cadre of doctors are defying science and putting him on the field months ahead of where he was expected to be. As a result, the team has the luxury of taking their time with Gronkowski while preparing for another season with his services.

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