Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reportedly will not play in Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Gronkowski, who is dealing with back and ankle injuries, also missed New England’s games against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 21 and the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 4. The Patriots are “taking the smart, cautious approach,” per Rapoport, and using their Week 11 bye to their advantage.
New England’s final six games of the season are against the New York Jets (Weeks 12 and 17), Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Buffalo Bills.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Saturday afternoon he also expects Gronkowski to miss the 1 p.m. game against the Titans, but he noted that Gronkowski still traveled with the team. Gronkowski is officially listed as questionable, and his game status won’t be revealed until coach Bill Belichick makes the final decision 90 minutes before kickoff.
After scoring a touchdown and recording over 100 yards in the Patriots’ first game of the season against the Texans, Gronkowski hasn’t accomplished either feat in six games since. The 7-2 Patriots have won both games he’s missed as of Saturday, and they’ve ripped off six straight overall after a loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 3.