The Patriots averaged 32 points per game when Gronkowski played last year from Week 7 through Week 13. In the games where Gronk didn't play, the Pats averaged 24.6 points per game. That's the difference between the second-most points per game in the NFL last season and the 13th most points per game.
Good news then: Patriots.com reports "all signs point" to Gronk returning in time for Week 1 and the start of the season.
Of course, Gronk's "start date" is largely irrelevant.
It's how many games he plays that matters -- over his career, Gronk averages four catches, 65 yards and nearly a touchdown per game ... when he plays.
The if and when of the equation is exactly why getting excited over an early Gronk return is sometimes an exercise in futility.