Tom Brady will once again be without his preferred reception target as Rob Gronkowski was excluded in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Philadelphia Eagles. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz the news broke the day before Gronkowski’s official injury designation was released.
“Sources: Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski is out for the game on Thursday evening with the Eagles,” tweeted Schultz on October 12th and is not quite there yet. “
The Buccaneers later made the news official, announcing that Gronkowski, Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and linebacker Lavonte David would all miss the Thursday night week 6 soccer game.
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Gronkowski has been sidelined with broken ribs and a punctured lung sustained against the Rams in week 3 and will now have missed three games in a row with the injuries. During his week 6 press conference, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians described Gronkowski as “very, very close to returning”.
“It’s going to be very, very tight this week,” noted Arianer on October 11th. “We will wait.”
Gronkowski spoke about his injury after the Bucs beat the Patriots in an interview with CBS Sports. The star tight end is still keen to cheer on their teammates during the games.
“I jumped up and down, I screamed,” noted Gronkowski on October 6th. “My nervousness went up and down and I cheered the Bucs left and right. I’m proud of my team-mates, especially the trip home where the atmosphere seemed incredible … The game was amazing. I think if you are a football fan that was great. “
Gronkowski admitted that he already misses being on the field with his teammates. The Buccaneers have relied more on OJ Howard and Cameron Brate in Gronkowski’s absence.
“I feel good,” added Gronkowski. “But I only go week after week – day after day – to get ready, be it next week, the week after next, or the week after next. And let me tell you, I miss it. I miss being out there with the guys. “
Before the injury, Gronkowski scored two touchdowns in each of the first two games of the season. Earlier this season, Brady explained why Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends of all time.
“I know he has great hands, great instincts, and awareness, I guess, which people don’t realize. He’s an elite blocker and what he does in terms of the red zone, third place, blocking in the running game is running after him, ”remarked Brady at his September 19th press conference. “Every run is available because you can run behind it. [He] catches the ball across the field, catches the ball one after the other, incredible hands and that’s why he has one of those maroon jackets for one of the top hundred players in the game’s history and just a real privilege to play with him. ”