Star New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski left a joint practice early with a hamstring injury back in August, and the injury is apparently still bothering him. Gronk missed the Pats’ Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he’ll be sitting out Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins as well.
Martellus Bennett will continue to fill in for Gronkowski as the No. 1 tight end, but he was not used as the same type of receiving threat against the Cards. Bennett was held in to block on 43 of his 69 snaps, per Pro Football Focus, including 13 of 39 pass plays. Gronkowski has typically been a blocker on around 10 percent of pass plays during his career, as opposed to the 33 percent on which Bennett blocked on Monday night.
It’s possible that was a Cardinals-specific plan from Bill Belichick, given that Arizona has been the blitz-happiest team in the league over the last three seasons and it was Jimmy Garoppolo’s first NFL start, but it’s also possible that the New England offense could simply look much different (conceptually) with Garoppolo at the helm than it normally does with Tom Brady.
For Gronkowski, it’s certainly a concern than the injury is still keeping him on the sideline. It’s the first time he’ll miss consecutive games since 2013, when he sat out the first six and last three games of the year. Hamstring injuries are notoriously lingering affairs, and the Pats don’t want it to turn into something that lasts all season, but they could certainly use him back as soon as possible.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Rob Gronkowski reportedly out against Dolphins with hamstring injury