Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
On Tuesday, Michael Giardi of the NFL Network reported the ankle injury Gronk suffered against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday is “not that big a deal” and the Patriots believe he will suit up for the game Thursday.
The Pats are hopeful the tight end can play against the Colts and then use the extra days off over the weekend to fully recover from the ailment, per Giardi.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Monday the injury is “not considered serious” and Gronkowski is expected to get listed as questionable for Thursday’s game.
The 29-year-old University of Arizona product is off to a sluggish start to the 2018 season with 17 catches for 233 yards and one touchdown through four appearances.
Bill Belichick defended the playmaking tight end during a Monday appearance on WEEI Radio (via Sam Quinn of 247Sports).
“You know how it is week-to-week,” he said. “Sometimes you feel a little better one week than others. Overall, he has been a pretty effective player for us this year and has been able to make plays down the field. He has been able to make plays in the intermediate zones. He’s had a couple catch-and-run plays, so I think he’s still been pretty effective.”
Dwayne Allen would likely step into the starting lineup if Gronkowski can’t play Thursday. Jacob Hollister is the team’s other option to replace the five-time Pro Bowl selection.
It doesn’t sound like the ankle issue will cost Gronk an extended amount of time, even if he ends up sitting out Thursday’s contest to recover.