A day after Rob Gronkowski returned to New England's practice, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked to update the status of his star tight end and whether he'd be ready to go in time for the season-opener.
Not surprisingly, Belichick didn't have much interesting to say.
"There is no straight-line formula for that. We take it day to day," Belichick said, via ESPN Boston. "I don't know any other way to do it. We don't know how he's going to be feeling in two days. Or any other player. It's not about him, it's about any player that's coming back from injury. That's how we do it. Nobody has a crystal ball."
Gronkowski didn't practice during the preseason after undergoing multiple surgeries on his forearm and another one on his back. Although Gronkowski didn't participate fully in Sunday's practice, he practiced more than some would have anticipated and was one of two tight ends, the other being Zach Sudfeld, who worked with the starting unit in full pads.
"Gronk is obviously a big part of our team," tight end Michael Hoomanawanui said Sunday. "He is a great football player. He's a great guy to be around. There are no real highs and lows with Rob; all the stuff he's gone through you would kind of think it would be human nature to see that. He's taken his punches and he always seems to stay up high. To see that, and be around, I think it lifts everyone else's spirits, too. It's something I admire about him, not only as a football player but as a person.
"He looked good. He looked almost Gronk-esque."
On Monday, the team was in helmets and shells, and Gronkowski again was out there. And Belichick couldn't help but be a little bit optimistic.
“This is his first opportunity to be in pads," Belichick said. "So, yeah, he's definitely moving forward."
But as far as predicting whether Gronkowski would be ready to play the Bills on Sunday, Belichick said that Gronkowski was day to day. For the record, there were reports in the middle of last month that Gronkowski could be ready to play by Week 3.
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