After announcing he plans to start for the Patriots in Week 1, the team’s All-World TE took the first step by getting medical clearance to play.
The Patriots’ star tight end will be returning to the field much sooner than anticipated.
On Wednesday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichik announced that TE Rob Gronkowski had been medically cleared to play and will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP).
Gronkowski stated last week that he intended to be ready to start in time for the Patriots’ season opener against the Dolphins on September 3rd.
“Rob’s always worked hard,” Belichick said in a statement. “He worked hard as a rookie. … When he’s here … what we’ve seen is he’s been consistent.”
Gronkowski has been recovering from an ACL injury suffered in December 2013, which caused him to miss the last three games of the season and the NFL playoffs after having already missed the first six games due to a back injury the prior year.
Gronkowski set NFL single-season records for receiving yards and TDs by a TE back in 2011. He has two Pro Bowl appearances and was named First- Team All-Pro in 2011.