Update: Monday, January 23 at 10:22 a.m. ET
The Boston Globe is reporting that Gronkowski will be ready to take the field for New England in Super Bowl 46.
The Globe writes:
A source told me this morning that Gronkowski’s left ankle, which he injured on a 23-yard catch in the third quarter, won’t prevent him from participating in the game in Indianapolis in two weeks. The source with direct knowledge of Gronkowski’s condition said simply, “He’ll be ready to go.”
This is huge news for the Patriots if initial reports hold true. Gronkowski has been one of the most effective players in the league this year and is no doubt going to be a key to beating the New York Giants.
Rob Gronkowski was taken off the field during a raucous AFC Championship game. The New England Patriots may have escaped a close shave with the Baltimore Ravens, but they may now have to face the ultimate test without one of their best weapons.
Gronkowski was tackled by Ravens safety Bernard Pollian in the third quarter. The awkward hit ended with the Pats star tight end limping off in what looked to be severe pain.
Here is the latest on Gronkowski and the unfolding issue with his left ankle.
He was, however, wearing a walking boot. It's hard to say what kind of pain he was in as he was doused in jubilation following the Patriots' victory and a berth to the Super Bowl.
When Is He Ready to Return?
It is hard to say how severe this injury is as Gronkowski shrugged off questions by reporters following the game. All ESPN had was that Gronkowski was indeed tended to. Via ESPN:
All Gronkowski would admit was that he got the ankle retaped (which seemed like a foregone conclusion after he hobbled off the field with trainers and went directly to the locker room).
The Patriots have to hope that appearances tell the whole story, because a grimacing Gronkowski was all smiles by the end of the game.
Who's the Backup?
Aaron Hernandez is more of a partner in crime than a backup, but if Gronkowski has to miss the Super Bowl, the Patriots do have a great alternate in Hernandez.
What They're Saying
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe offered essentially what everyone else has, and that is not much.
But it appears as though this isn't the worst-case scenario with Gronkowski. While he wouldn't talk about his injury after the game—I'm all done talking,'' he said matter-of-factly when asked about his injury, "I've been talking all day"—his left ankle appeared slightly swollen but not alarmingly so.