Rapoport adds that the Patriots are “taking the smart and cautious approach” and want to make sure Gronkowski will be able to return after their Week 11 bye.
Duffy says that the Patriots seem to be hoping that some additional rest in November will allow Gronkowski to return to his Pro Bowl form.
Gronkowski admitted that this season has been “more challenging” for him, but he’s hoping he’ll still be able to return to form this year.
“It’s been more challenging, just with the obstacles in the way,” Gronkowski said. “But it’s life. You’ve got to take them on, and that’s what I’m doing. Just got to get back to where I need to be and just be myself when I get back. It’ll all be good.”
Gronkowski is dealing with back and ankle injuries and called his Week 10 status a “coach’s decision.”
Gronkowski, 29, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2010. He is in the sixth year of his eight-year, $55.23 million contract that included $13.17 million guaranteed.
In 2018, Gronkowski has appeared in seven games for the Patriots and recorded 29 receptions for 448 yards receiving (15.4 YPC) and scored one touchdown.