Everyone is expecting Rob Gronkowski to play in Super Bowl LII, but the Patriots tight end still had not cleared concussion protocol as of Tuesday morning, with concussed players and media duties. By all accounts, Gronk is on track to play in the Super Bowl and should be cleared soon. But as of the Patriots' Tuesday media session in Minneapolis, Gronk was still not clear.
"We might not hear from Rob Gronkowski all week," Steve Wyche said Tuesday afternoon. "Because we do not know when he is going to be medically cleared. Remember, there are several medical protocols including the final one from an independent neurologist."
But it turns out we COULD hear from Gronk sooner than expected: the Pats tight end will be attending an Xbox event at the Microsoft Store inside the Mall of America.
Gronk and former teammate LeGarrette Blount, now a running back for the Eagles, will be hanging out Tuesday at the mall, participating in "Xbox Live Sessions: Big Game Edition" as they square off against each other in a game of Madden.
According to the press release and confirmed to CBSSports.com, Gronk will be available for media sessions after the event with Blount.
Which means his only media availability before the Super Bowl might very well be at a promotional event. Additionally, Deion Sanders of the NFL Network will join Gronk and Blount on set for the event (and presumably be able to ask Gronk questions about his availability for the Super Bowl).
The battle between Gronk and Blount will actually, according to the release, be livestreamed onto the Internet via Mixer.
There is a surprisingly minimal amount of chatter when it comes to Gronk right now. He is, by all accounts, set to play in Super Bowl LII. Gronk posted on Instagram that he is "locked in" and "ready to roll" but he has yet to be cleared in the concussion protocol.
The Pats beat the Jaguars without Gronk, but let's be clear: he is a massive part of the Patriots offense and plays a critical role for them in every game.
He also loves the spotlight, but he might not be talking to the media this week outside of the Tuesday night Xbox event unless he's cleared through the concussion protocol.