ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Monday on SportsCenter that the New England Patriots legitimately do not know when tight end Rob Gronkowski will return from his most recent back surgery.
In addition to the multiple surgeries Gronkowski has had on his arm, Gronk’s most recent trip under the knife was an attempt to fix his back – the second time such an operation has been performed this offseason.
The Patriots are well prepared to fill his role on the depth chart, though the production will undoubtedly fall off without Gronkowski in the line-up. New England is currently carrying a league-high seven tight ends on the team’s 90 man roster.
The reported recovery time for the procedure Gronkowski most recently had done is an estimated 12 weeks, which would roughly take him to the beginning of the season in September. Gronkowski will open camp on the PUP list and could very well begin the season on the same list.