Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
OUTLOOK: expected to play Week 4
I don't like being wrong. Ever. Ask anyone who knows me; I can be downright pedantic. I've had mentors who stressed attention to detail and focus on precision in a life-or-death manner. Boy, did I pick the wrong job.
Here's the thing about "wrong": How most people use it is not how it actually is. Sure, I'm going to miss some things; I'm going to mistranslate or misunderstand. But what usually happens is that something changes. If two teams are talking about a trade and I hear from both sides that it's close, and then something better happens to drop the first deal, I wasn't wrong, but it looks that way. (This actually happened with the Trent Richardson deal.)
So I like being right. With Rob Gronkowski, it wasn't hard. This was a six- to 10-week recovery, noted by Dr. Robert Watkins. When one of the best doctors in the world tells me something, I take his word for it. I'll add some context and some knowledge about the player and situation, and then I'll make my analysis.
Gronkowski was always going to be on the long end of the recovery because of the time line and because of his previous forearm problems. It's less the forearm than the worry of infection, but here we are, very likely to see Gronkowski make his debut on Sunday, giving Tom Brady a real target.
Don't mistake "playing" for 100 percent. Gronkowski is going to have to adjust, and the medical staff will have to monitor him closely. I'd guess he'll see about half his normal snaps, but the Pats will do all they can to maximize those snaps.
I'll be watching Gronkowski on Sunday morning to make sure he's ready to go and deserves to be in your lineup. On most rosters, he's going to be a must-play when they make him active.