Foxborough, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Rob Gronkowski’s continued absence from games has created resentment among his Patriots teammates after a 13-6 loss to the Cincinatti Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals game was the sixth game missed by the tight end because of multiple offseason surgeries on his fractured left forearm.
He has not been cleared by third-party physician Dr. James Andrews.
Gronkowski was described as dominant during weeks of practice as he ran patterns, catched passes, used his arm to pass protect, and separated from defenders at the line of scrimmage
Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft says he’s not aware if there is a fractured relationship with Gronkowski and the team.
“I’m not aware of it with anybody anywhere else,” said Kraft. “No one here questions Rob’s desire about the game, about his passion for the game, and wanting to play the game of football.”
Gronkowski first had surgery last season, returned with a metal plate in his arm and fractured the same forearm in the playoffs, then required two more surgeries while enduring an infection that complicated the healing process.
They are having difficulty reconciling seeing Gronkowski perform like that and then not take the field with them for the games.
Kraft said that Gronkowski is the only person who can decide when he’s ready to play.
But there are other people in the organization who question whether Gronkowski intends to ever play this season.
“Whatever is holding him back now isn’t going to be healed in two weeks, because there’s nothing wrong with the arm,” said a source who was among those questioning the tight end’s playing status.