New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski left the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter when his ankle rolled awkwardly while being tackled. That has left his status for Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants in doubt.
Gronkowski, who set single-season tight end records this year with 1,327 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns, was wearing a walking boot following New England's AFC Championship victory. Despite Gronkowski seeming confident he will play, there is yet to be any indication regarding whether he will suit up on Feb. 5.
Check back here throughout the lead up to the Super Bowl for updates on Gronkowski's injury and his status for the biggest game in sports.
UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6:00 pm. EST
The Patriots and their fans are hoping Gronkowski will be able to make it through the entire game. His ankle injury is clearly bothering him as Comcast Sportsnet New England's Tom E. Curran is hearing that he looks winded and is being checked on during pregame warmups.
BostonDotCom has captured the ankle in question, which is heavily wrapped in attempts to hold up the entire game.
UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 5th at 4:40 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss
According to Rotoworld, Gronkowski is active for Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants. This was expected but now we have official confirmation that Gronk will play. Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is the other notable active for the Patriots. Running back Kevin Faulk is a notable inactive for New England.
UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 5th at 2:50 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss
According to NBC Sports' Alex Flanagan via Pro Football Talk, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Gronkowski will "definitely" play against the Giants, but it's unsure how many plays the star tight end will take part in.
Per Flanagan, Belichick will make the decision after seeing what Gronkowski does at full speed, something he hasn’t been able to do since injuring his left ankle two weeks ago.
I don't think this is a major surprise but it's nice to hear Belichick confirm that Gronkowski will at least give it a go on Sunday night. It doesn't appear Gronk will be at full strength, but the Giants will have to respect his ability as if he was 100 percent healthy.
UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 5th at 12:24 a.m. ET
The mystery surrounding Gronk's injury appears to be coming to a close. According to NBC Sports' Mike Florio, a league source said,
"Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will play Sunday despite a high ankle sprain suffered against the Ravens in the AFC title game."
This doesn't come as a shocker, but Pats fan can breathe a little easier knowing Gronk is going to be on the field, even if he's less than 100%.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 3 at 3:50 p.m ET by Eric Bowman
Alex Marvez wrote that "Dressed in gray sweatpants, gray sneakers and a dark blue t-shirt bearing the popular “Yo Soy Fiesta” phrase he recently coined, Gronkowski moved without a limp when the Patriots executed their offensive plays."
Moving without a limp is a good sign the Friday before game day, but nobody will truly know anything about Gronkowski's status until Sunday rolls around.
My guess is that he plays on Sunday, because after all, this is the biggest sporting event of the year, you know Gronkowski wants to play badly.
The question is though, whether or not he'll be contributing a whole lot.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. ET by Eric Bowman
While Bill Belichick feels good about Gronkowski's chances to play, others feel the injury is much worse.
The tight end's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told NBC Sports that "if it wasn’t the Super Bowl, Gronkowski definitely wouldn’t be playing."
We know that Gronkowski is in pain, but he appears to be getting better. Still, if his agent believes he shouldn't be playing then something is up. It's still a huge mystery if Gronkowski will be much of a factor in Super Bowl XLVI.
Then again, this could just be Rosenhaus playing the injury up and making it sound worse than it truly is. In doing that, he makes Gronkowski look heroic should he play through the pain, which in turn is something to use in contract negotiations.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 3 at 8:45 a.m. ET by Eric Bowman
Gronkowski is the talk of the town right now, and rightfully so. He's a dominant force for the Patriots, and without him, the team just isn't the same.
Head coach Bill Belichick was about Gronkowskis's status, and he actually gave a meaningful answer as opposed to the generic and bland answer he's accustomed to making. Boston Herald beat writer Ian Rapoport had the quote via Twitter.
The head coach believes the league's top tight end is getting better, which is a great sign since we're only days away from Super Bowl XLVI.
Belichick knows how bad his offense needs Gronkowski, and he, along with all Patriots fans, have to be pleased to with such positive news.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 5:45 p.m. EST by Eric Ball
Despite sounding upbeat on media day, the high ankle sprain is still severe enough for Gronkowski to miss Wednesday's practice, according to Mike Garafolo of the New Jersey Star-Ledger:
While you can't be shocked by the news, the sense of urgency is beginning to set in. Only two days of practice remain before Saturday's walkthroughs and Sunday's big game.
The clock is ticking.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 10:10 p.m. EST by Adam Wells
We got the first sign that Gronkowski is making progress today, as we move closer to the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI. According to Local 7 News in Boston, the Patriots tight end is finished with the walking boot.
Here is what Gronkowski had to say about his injury and how it is being treated in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.
This is a significant step, and one that indicates his ankle is going to heal enough in time to let him be on the field. We won't know how effective he will be until the game starts, but things did just get a little brighter for him and the Patriots.
UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 30 at 4:20 p.m. EST by Adam Wells
The ongoing saga of Rob Gronkowski's ankle injury continued today. According to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald, the superstar tight end did not practice today.
That's not a big surprise considering he was still in his walking boot when the team arrived. If he is unable to do anything on Thursday or Friday, then you can turn up the panic meter.
UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m. EST by Adam Wells
Despite the fact that Gronkowski was seen wearing a walking boot getting off the Patriots team plane on Sunday, it sounds like he is going to be playing this Sunday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Rob Gronkowski (high ankle sprain) will be at less than 100 percent—and perhaps significantly so—against the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Schefter said on Monday's "SportsCenter":
There are very people—nobody—who fully expects him to be 100 percent. The Patriots are going to have to get used to having a limited Gronkowski against the Giants. Gronkowski is fully expected to play, but it sounds like he could be susceptible to re-injury.
If an athlete can play in this game, then he should be willing to risk injury going forward. You don't know how many more chances you will get to be in this spot, so don't expect Gronkowski to sit out on Super Bowl Sunday.
UPDATE: Sunday, Jan. 29 at 5:35 p.m. EST by Richard Langford
In the previous update, Patriots fans were undoubtedly grinning from ear to ear as they saw Gronkowski was "practically running" from the plane.
Well, hang on, Patriots fans. That observation of Gronkowski does not appear to be universal. Here comes a much more ominous tweet from the Star-Ledger's Andrew Mills.
While the perception of walking versus practically running can be a judgment call, there is no room for interpretation of someone wearing a walking boot.
UPDATE: Sunday, Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. EST by Richard Langford
Sportscaster Lindsay Soto tweeted news that is sure to delight Patriots fans.
Gronkowski may have been putting on a show for the press, but the fact that he was running can only be a good thing for the massive tight end's prospects of impacting the Super Bowl.
UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 27 at 4:40 p.m. EST by Mike Chiari
News continues to come to the forefront regarding New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and his troublesome ankle. According to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, Gronk will need to get his ankle scoped after the Super Bowl, but he will play in the game.
While it's unfortunate that Gronkowski will need offseason surgery, it has to be very encouraging for Patriots fans to hear that he intends to play. Even if he isn't at 100 percent, Gronkowski is a huge threat that the New York Giants defense will have to pay attention to, thus opening up space for other weapons.
UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 27 at 4:20 p.m. EST by Mike Chiari
This may come as no surprise, but according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the New England Patriots have released their injury report, and tight end Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable.
Of course, on a Patriots injury report, questionable could mean anything from a hangnail to a leg amputation, so that designation may not be saying much. I would say that Gronk being questionable is probably an encouraging sign, since players tend to try to gut it out to play in the Super Bowl provided it is physically possible.
UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 27 at 11:20 a.m. EST by Wes O'Donnell
Like everyone else, Rob Gronkowski's father, Gordy, expects his All-Pro son to be on the field in Super Bowl XLVI. He did, however, admit that Rob suffered a high ankle sprain.
But more than that, Gordy is absolutely beside himself with excitement for both his son and his family during this memorable time. He was quoted in an interview WIVB-TV in Western New York saying:
It's unbelievable. Every week in my life right now, it's just so unbelievable. I wake up every morning, and I can't believe what's happening. I pick up The New York Times, and here Robbie's in The New York Times, he's got a half page in The New York Times. I pick up our paper and Robbie's picture is here and there. I turn on ESPN, he's all over ESPN SportsCenter. Every time I turn something on now, he's on, it's just so crazy
What is not crazy is how good the Gronk is. At 22 years old, this is just the beginning of what will surely be a great career.
Whether this first Super Bowl run will have a happy ending is still up in the air though.
UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 26 at 11:25 a.m. EST by Mike Chiari
The Super Bowl is still a week-and-a-half away, so this news may come as no surprise, but New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski will not practice on Thursday while nursing an ankle injury.
According to Mike Rodak of ESPN Boston, head coach Bill Belichick said that Gronkowski will sit out Thursday's practice and that he is "day-to-day." Such a vague description of Gronk's timetable to return certainly isn't a shock coming from Belichick, but obviously it's worth noting.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 8:25 a.m. EST by Mike Chiari
Perhaps no head coach in the NFL is more noncommittal than the Patriots' Bill Belichick, and that continues to be the case when it comes to Gronkowski's injury. According to Michael Vega of the Boston Globe, Belichick had no real update on the severity of the ankle ailment and said that the team would continue to evaluate Gronk:
We'll see how it goes with Rob and some of the other players who are getting treatment.
We'll see how it is when we get back on the field. We'll see how all of that is when it's time to go. As you know, it's hard to gauge injuries. We've seen some of the biggest hits in the game and seen guys get up and go back to the huddle like it wasn't a big thing.
There is no question that Gronkowski is a major part of New England's offense, as he and tight end Aaron Hernandez are what set the Patriots passing game apart. Things will be difficult enough for quarterback Tom Brady against the Giants pass-rush, so he will certainly be praying for Gronkowski to heal up in the coming weeks.