The New England Patriots' uncertain tight end situation has been impacted by issues beyond cutting tight end Aaron Hernandez after he was arrested and charged with murder.
Rob Gronkowski underwent surgeries this offseason on his left forearm and his back.
And he remains on the physically unable to perform list.
Out indefinitely, Gronkowski could potentially start the season on the list and miss at least the first six games.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, as usual, didn't offer any insight into when Gronkowski might get back on the field.
“Nope,” Belichick told reporters. “I can’t predict what’s going to happen with rehabilitations or injuries. Any sort of players who are day to day, as we know, sometimes that’s a steady line. Sometimes it’s slow progress and then a big jump. Sometimes there’s a jump, and then it levels off. Can’t predict exactly what’s going to happen.
“Just take everybody day by day, see how they do and treat them the next day based on their performance and how they feel from the day before. That will be the same with everybody. There is nobody in any different category than that. They’re all the same.”
Gronkowski isn't just the same, though.
He's a pivotal piece to the Patriots' offensive strategy, especially after Hernandez was cut loose due to his serious legal problems.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun