Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski has been ruled out for Sunday night’s game between Tampa Bay and New England. The future Hall of Famer fractured his ribs during last Sunday’s 34-24 loss at Los Angeles and will be evaluated week-to-week for a rib injury.
Gronkowski was given an X-ray at the stadium last Sunday after the game and head coach Bruce Arians seemed optimistic at the time: “X-rays came out negative. So, he’s fine.”
But another round of tests, this time an MRI, picked up hairline fractures on multiple ribs. Gronkowski showed up to practice on Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday, but did not participate.
“He was out there,” Arians said on Friday. “We have great doctors, great trainers and everybody knows what it takes to get somebody ready. A lot of it’s just personal toughness, and some guys are a lot tougher than other guys. It’s nothing bad against them, it’s just some guys are just really tough.”
Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today
Gronkowski, who did not travel with the team to Foxborough, is one of those really tough guys. But he just isn’t ready to go as the soreness really set in during the week. Because the hairline nature of the fractures, the team did not want to put Gronkowski on injured reserve because that would put him out at least three weeks.
The Bucs are hopeful he can heal over the next week or two and possibly return in two weeks to play at Philadelphia on Thursday night, October 14. And the team isn’t ruling him out to play in next week’s game against Miami, either.
The Bucs elevated tight end Codey McElroy from the practice squad. Veteran Cameron Brate is expected to get the start in place of Gronkowski on Sunday night against the Patriots. O.J. Howard will also see increased action in New England due to Gronkowski’s absence.
Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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