Stop me if you’ve heard this before: One of the top players on the Patriots is officially “questionable” for a prime-time game. That could realistically apply to many players on their roster, but specifically, we’re talking about Rob Gronkowski. Gronk, the team’s star tight end, is dealing with back and ankle injuries that kept him out of last week’s contest against the Bears. Heading into Week 8, many fantasy owners are hoping that he will suit up against the Bills, and some probably faced tough start ’em, sit ’em decisions at the TE position. Until the official actives/inactives list is released prior to the MNF kickoff, Gronkowski’s status won’t be known, but here are the latest injury updates to tide you over.
We’ll be posting the latest news about Gronkowski’s status throughout the day, including his official designation, so check back if you’re worried about the star TE’s potential availability.
Week 9 Rankings:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Is Rob Gronkowski playing Monday night?
Gronkowski is listed as “questionable” for Monday night’s game against the Bills, but at this point, it feels more like a formality than anything else. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that Gronkowski is expected to play barring a setback. Considering that he had a week off to recover from his back/ankle injuries, he should be ready to go on Monday.
That said, there always remains an outside possibility that something could change in pregame warmups. Ahead of the Bears game, Gronk suffered from painful back spasms on Friday, and that caused him not to travel with the team. If his back were to unexpectedly act up before the start of the game, that could cause some problems for him and may make him unavailable. Still, that seems to be more of a worst-case scenario than an actual possibility.
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For those wondering if the Patriots would have Gronk active and use him as a decoy, that is possible. After all, they have done it in the past. That said, this isn’t the type of matchup where that would be a sensible option. The Patriots play the Packers on a shorter week in Week 9, so if Gronk wasn’t 100 percent, they would likely rest him now to make sure he was ready for that contest. They need him more in that contest than they need him against the Bills. So, provided that he is on the field, he shouldn’t be limited much.
If you end up needing an emergency option at TE, Charles Clay (Bills) and Dwayne Allen (Patriots) are the options to target. They aren’t inspiring, but if you’re desperate, one could score a TD. For now, feel free to fire up Gronk as your starter in Week 8.
We’ll have more updates before the game and will be sure to let you know if Gronkowski is in fact active as many expect.
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