Tight end Rob Gronkowski has basically been out of action since Week 3. The future Hall of Famer took a hard shot against the Rams, fracturing a couple ribs and pinching a lung. Gronkowski tried to return against the Saints, but lasted just six snaps before back spasms sidelined him. Now the Bucs are being cautious with his recovery. According to head coach Bruce Arians, the big tight end is doubtful for Sunday’s game against Washington.

“I doubt it,” Arians said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We think that next week is a better timeframe for him. We kinda pushed it with the New Orleans thing. I want him to go the whole distance when we’re ready to go.”

It sounds like Gronkowski won’t play against Washington, but could be back for the team’s Week 11 game against the Giants on Monday Night Football. Worst case scenario seems to suggest Gronkowski will be back against the Colts in Week 12. It’s clear that Arians is targeting December-January as months to bring several injured players back, trusting Tom Brady and the depth in the meantime.

Still, that’s a lot of missed time for Gronkowski, who was off to a torrid start in 2021. The Bucs top tight end caught 16 passes for 184 yards and 4 touchdowns over the first three games of the season. To help replace Gronkowski, the Bucs signed veteran Darren Fells this week.

“We think in about two or three weeks he’ll be back to normal,” Arians said. “So we got Darren Fells coming in this week. He’s a veteran player who has played good for us in the past. Love where we’re at that way. Gronk is gonna get better, we just wanna make sure he’s good when he comes back.”

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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chefboho
chefboho
7 months ago

Have to agree with coach on this one. The injuries have been absurd for this team this year, but Gronk is much more valuable come the later half of the season. At least the TE room is serviceable. I will say that with the injuries to the defense, now the offense with the WR’s that Licth has put together a good amount of depth for this team. A lot of back ups have logged major playing time this year and if god forbid this team can actually get fully healthy in a few weeks, the depth will play a major… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
7 months ago

Why risk Gronk against a lesser opponent like the WFT – currently 2-6 – when it’s more important to have him on the field later this season against divisional opponents, especially rematches the Saints and the Falcons, and Buffalo … and of course in the playoffs. Apparently Cam Newton is reported to be signing with the Panthers after the failed Sam Darnold era came to a crashing close with him on IR. Cam could make the Panthers competitive again, particularly after Christian McCaffery comes back – we have two outings against those guys late in the season. Gronk’s injury was… Read more »

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1
Reply to  Naplesfan
7 months ago

The funny part is, the failed Sam Darnold era hasn’t come to a crashing close. The morons in Carolina exercised his 5th year option for $18.5mil. The contract is guaranteed so they can dump him but they’re still on the hook for the $$$.