Rob Gronkowski isn’t going to New England for Patriots return

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

Tom Brady’s return to Gillette Stadium is on track, but Buccaneers teammate Rob Gronkowski won’t have his own New England reunion because of injury.

Patriots fans will undoubtedly have mixed feelings welcoming Tom Brady back home on Sunday. They won’t have to sort out their emotions when it comes to Rob Gronkowski.

The former Patriots tight end isn’t traveling with the Buccaneers to New England this weekend because of the rib injury he sustained last weekend, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Rob Gronkowski injury update: Tight end ruled out vs. Patriots

Gronk has had an excellent start to the 2021 campaign. He caught two touchdowns in each of the first two games. However, in Tampa Bay’s loss to the Rams, he took a hit to the midsection and suffered a rib injury.

That injury kept him out of practice throughout the week but there was still speculation he might suit up against New England because of the importance of the game.

There’s no question about that anymore. Gronkowski won’t even be in Foxborough.

The tight end played nine seasons in New England with five Pro Bowl nods. He caught 79 touchdowns while giving opposing defenses a unique challenge.

After struggling with injuries, he retired before the 2019 season. However, Brady’s move to Tampa Bay sparked a comeback and he opted to return to the game after a trade to reunite him with his longtime quarterback.

Last season, Gronkowski started 16 games with 623 yards and seven touchdowns on 45 receptions.

Next. Watch Tom Brady's 'Homecoming' video. dark