Report: Gronk 'unlikely' to play Thursday, Patriots won't practice

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Pam Oliver caught a football to the face Sunday.
Rob Gronkowski is 'unlikely' to play for New England Thursday. (USATSI)

The week-to-week turnaround in the NFL these days is as fast as Tom Brady's offense. It's Tuesday and we're staring down a 48-hour window until the Patriots and Jets kick off. As such, the Patriots won't be practicing this week. And even if they were, you probably wouldn't see much of Rob Gronkowski.

According to the Boston Herald, Gronk is "unlikely" to play in Week 2's Thursday night game against the Jets. However the Herald notes he hasn't been completely ruled out from playing at this point.

The Patriots are heavy favorites (-13) against the Jets on Thursday, though there's plenty of reason to be skeptical about that line. One of which is a dearth of receiving options for Tom Brady. Danny Amendola looked like a stud on Sunday against the Bills, but the rest of it is up in the air without Gronk. Preseason hype-machine Zach Sudfeld (a.k.a. "Baby Gronk") was targeted once and saw the ball bounce off his hands for an interception.

Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins admitted he's got "some things to clean up" after a sloppy debut. Shane Vereen was forced into actual running back duty when Stevan Ridley fumbled twice and promptly broke a bone in his hand. Julian Edelman caught seven balls but that's not really what you want happening.

How the Patriots deploy these players in Week 2 may be a bit of a surprise. The team announced on Tuesday they'll only be having walkthroughs this week, what with two whole days to spend practicing before the Jets come to town. That means no actual "practice," though this is hardly unusual for a team facing a short turnaround.

The only real surprise would be Gronk playing and it doesn't appear that will happen.

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