New England Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater said tight end Rob Gronkowski is in "pretty good spirits" after suffering a head injury Sunday during the team's 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.
Mike Reiss of ESPN.com passed along the remarks from Slater on Tuesday and noted the Pats have not confirmed the ailment as a concussion.
Gronkowski took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jags defensive back Barry Church late in the second quarter of the AFC title game. Church received a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness on the play, and the star tight end didn't return for the second half.
When the Patriots announced he was out for the remainder of the game following evaluation, they listed it as a head injury, not a concussion.
It's an important distinction because a concussion would force Gronkowski to complete the NFL's updated protocol in order to play in the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team will release its first injury report Wednesday, which could shed more light on the situation.
New England stormed back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter on the strength of a pair of touchdown passes from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola.
OddsShark noted the Patriots are listed as early five-point Super Bowl favorites against the Eagles. Gronkowski's status could impact the final line.