Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) can t hang on to a pass in the end zone in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Rob Gronkowski, two others ruled out vs. Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has been ruled out of his third straight game due to his injuries.

Linebacker Lavonte David (ankle) and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion) will join Gronkowski in sitting out Thursday’s game against the host Philadelphia Eagles (2-3). Those three players did not practice this week for the Bucs (4-1).

While those three players will not play on Thursday, center Ryan Jensen (hip), defensive lineman Pat O’Connor (calf) and edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder, hand) are listed as questionable for the game. Those three players were listed as full participants in Wednesday’s practice.

Gronkowski previously told FOX Sports he sustained “four cracked ribs, one broken rib and a punctured lung” in the Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Gronkowski, 32, has collected 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns this season.

David, 31, is expected to miss three to four weeks with a high ankle sprain he sustained during Tampa Bay’s 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

David has 34 tackles and one sack in five games this season. The 10-year veteran has spent his entire career with the Buccaneers and was an All-Pro in 2013 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2015.

Winfield, 23, will miss his second straight game on Thursday. He has 25 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in four games this season.

Quarterback Tom Brady, 44, is a full-go for Thursday’s game. He injured his right (passing) thumb against Miami.

Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson (personal matter) remains away from the team and will miss his third straight game.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) completes a pass play and runs for a first down in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Report: TE Rob Gronkowski has punctured lung among injuries

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski revealed to FOX Sports that the injury keeping him from playing Sunday night against the New England Patriots, his former team, is more serious than previously reported.

Gronkowski told the network he sustained “four cracked ribs, one broken rib and a punctured lung” in the Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He is expected to miss multiple weeks.

The injury is forcing him to miss Sunday’s game in Foxborough, Mass. against the Patriots, with whom Gronkowski won three Super Bowl championships and was named an All-Pro four times in nine seasons.

He retired following the 2018 season, then returned to play with his former teammate Tom Brady in Tampa Bay in 2020. The Bucs won the Super Bowl in February.

Gronkowski, 32, has collected 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns this season.

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski arrives for a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

TE Rob Gronkowski re-signs with Buccaneers

Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before a game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Rob Gronkowski is ready to run it back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Super Bowl champions confirmed Monday that they had re-signed Gronkowski to a contract.

The team did not divulge the terms of the deal, however agent Drew Rosenhaus told NFL Network and ESPN last week that the sides agreed to a one-year contract. The Athletic and NFL Network reported that the contract will pay Gronkowski $8 million and includes the opportunity to earn another $2 million in incentives.

“In addition to his contributions on the field, Gronk has quickly become one of the most beloved guys in our locker room,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “His ability to perform at a championship-caliber level week after week, while also uplifting everyone around him, makes him an invaluable presence in our building. Rob’s accomplishments speak for themselves and make him one of the greatest to ever play the game at his position. We are thrilled to have him back with us as we pursue another title in Tampa.”

Gronkowski, 31, came out of retirement before the 2020 season to reunite with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa. The Buccaneers’ title last month gave Brady a record seven Super Bowl titles while Gronkowski won his fourth.

A four-time All-Pro, Gronkowski produced modest numbers by his standards in the 2020 regular season: 45 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. In the Buccaneers’ first three playoff games, he totaled just two catches for 43 yards, but he was a key contributor in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, making six receptions for 67 yards and two TDs in the 31-9 win.

The Brady-Gronkowski connection has accounted for 14 career playoff touchdowns, the top figure for any quarterback/pass-catcher duo in league history.

Gronkowski, selected by New England in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Arizona, played for the Patriots from 2010-18, compiling 521 catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. He topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark four times.

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski before a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Gronkowski jokes: ‘I came here to block, baby’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski decided to have a little fun at his own expense.

Gronkowski has been slow out of the blocks in terms of contributing to the Buccaneers’ offense, with his four targets resulting in just two catches for 11 yards.

That’s likely not the impact he envisioned through two games when he ended a one-year retirement to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady. With that said, Gronkowski tried to have a little fun on Friday when discussing his slow start.

“I’m a blocking tight end. I came here to block, baby,” the 31-year-old Gronkowski said Friday. “Four targets is four more than I thought I was gonna get.”

Gronkowski’s comment comes on the heels of coach Bruce Arians’ statement earlier in the week that drew some headlines.

“We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends — that’s what we have receivers for (and) that’s the way our offense is built,” Arians said. “Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.

“We haven’t had that many red-zone opportunities, and I don’t see him running 40 yards past people anymore. If we get him press coverage, hopefully he can. We brought him in to just play tight end. If that means no catches, it means no catches. If it means 10 catches, it means 10 catches because he’s open and that’s where the ball goes.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida,USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) practices at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Arians: Gronk looks like he did ‘5 or 6 years ago’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski looks like a new man in the eyes of head coach Bruce Arians.

After all, Gronkowski is no longer wearing his bulky elbow brace, and the one-year retirement appears to have added some pep in his step.

“No similarities at all. He looks like he was five or six years ago before all the injuries,” Arians said on Thursday of the 31-year-old Gronkowski. “The back surgeries have healed, so he had a year of healing. He looks to me like he was five or six years ago.

“… He’s moving. He’s running fast again. He’s got great body control. Some of the things — the stiffness that I saw at the end of his career with all the injuries — it looks like it’s gone.”

Arians isn’t the only one singing the praises of the 6-foot-6 Gronkowski, who is a future Hall of Famer with 521 career catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns.

“I think the most amazing thing about Gronk is that as big of a guy he is, he’s athletic. He can do a lot of things. He’s got some quick-twitch movements,” Tampa Bay tight ends coach Rick Christophel said. “Everything that you’ve seen being in the league and seeing him play, getting to watch him on film, getting to watch him on television — I think the most important thing is it matters to him. He loves it. He has fun. He loves to play the game and he has fun out there, but it matters to him.

“When he makes a mistake, it hurts him and like Tom (Brady), he wants to win. I think that’s a big component of what makes his personality.”

Gronkowski admitted it took some time to get adjusted to his new surroundings.

“Definitely no regrets,” Gronkowski said. “I’m here, I’m supposed to be here — I feel like I’m supposed to be here. That’s definitely in the past and I’m here to play football now. I’m glad to be here. Going out there and just playing ball — it feels good. Let me tell you, the first couple practices, it definitely felt weird. …

“As time goes on and as the days go on, I feel better about myself being out there. My confidence keeps going up, the game is slowing down, I’m starting to pick up the offense more. But overall, it’s going good. I have so much more to work on and so much more to improve on, but I am really glad to be here.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida,USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) practices at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Arians: Gronk looks like he did ‘5 or 6 years ago’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski looks like a new man in the eyes of head coach Bruce Arians.

After all, Gronkowski is no longer wearing his bulky elbow brace, and the one-year retirement appears to have added some pep in his step.

“No similarities at all. He looks like he was five or six years ago before all the injuries,” Arians said on Thursday of the 31-year-old Gronkowski. “The back surgeries have healed, so he had a year of healing. He looks to me like he was five or six years ago.

“… He’s moving. He’s running fast again. He’s got great body control. Some of the things — the stiffness that I saw at the end of his career with all the injuries — it looks like it’s gone.”

Arians isn’t the only one singing the praises of the 6-foot-6 Gronkowski, who is a future Hall of Famer with 521 career catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns.

“I think the most amazing thing about Gronk is that as big of a guy he is, he’s athletic. He can do a lot of things. He’s got some quick-twitch movements,” Tampa Bay tight ends coach Rick Christophel said. “Everything that you’ve seen being in the league and seeing him play, getting to watch him on film, getting to watch him on television — I think the most important thing is it matters to him. He loves it. He has fun. He loves to play the game and he has fun out there, but it matters to him.

“When he makes a mistake, it hurts him and like Tom (Brady), he wants to win. I think that’s a big component of what makes his personality.”

Gronkowski admitted it took some time to get adjusted to his new surroundings.

“Definitely no regrets,” Gronkowski said. “I’m here, I’m supposed to be here — I feel like I’m supposed to be here. That’s definitely in the past and I’m here to play football now. I’m glad to be here. Going out there and just playing ball — it feels good. Let me tell you, the first couple practices, it definitely felt weird. …

“As time goes on and as the days go on, I feel better about myself being out there. My confidence keeps going up, the game is slowing down, I’m starting to pick up the offense more. But overall, it’s going good. I have so much more to work on and so much more to improve on, but I am really glad to be here.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida,USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) practices at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Arians: Gronk ‘not in Florida shape’

Rob Gronkowski said his body felt rejuvenated after taking a year off from the NFL grind.

What the 31-year-old may not have fully accounted for was working his way back into shape during the height of Florida’s summer heat and humidity. Gronkowski is preparing for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after spending his first nine NFL seasons with the New England Patriots.

“He’s probably in New England shape right now, but he’s not in Florida shape,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians quipped on Monday. “The heat is kicking his (butt) pretty good.

“It’s different, man. When you train in New England and then come down here, it’s really different. We laughed about it out there today – I don’t think he’s ever sweat that much in his life. It takes a little time to get into the Florida shape, but as far as playing in a game, he’s more than ready right now.”

Gronkowski is the leading man in a loaded tight end unit that includes former first-round pick O.J. Howard and veteran Cameron Brate.

“We’ve already made a lot of improvements in a lot of areas as far as he’s helping us out a lot in the run game with his footwork and just different things in routes that he used over the years to help him get open,” Howard said of working with Gronkowski. “Just being on the field with him, us together has been a big mismatch.

“It’s hard to cover a lot of guys like that when we’re on the field together – it’s just hard to stop that. It’s going to open up a lot of things for everyone and I think it should be real fun.”

Gronkowski is a future Hall of Famer with 521 career catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. Howard has 94 catches for 1,456 yards and 12 touchdowns through his first three seasons, while Brate enters his seventh season in Tampa Bay with 195 catches for 2,156 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Howard was the subject of trade rumors after Gronkowski was acquired, but the Bucs opted to hold onto him. Thus far, Arians has been impressed by his growth under Gronkowski’s mentorship.

“I think the biggest thing for O.J. was just learning what we’re trying to teach,” Arians said. “That’s a very difficult position in this scheme and he’s come in and he’s got a great handle on it right now.

“I think Rob’s helped him confidence-wise – seeing how good he is and telling him how good he is. When you’ve got a guy like Gronkowski and (Tom) Brady telling you you’re good, you’re probably pretty good. I think that’s helped, but he’s playing really, really well right now.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida,USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) practices at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Arians: Gronk ‘not in Florida shape’

Rob Gronkowski said his body felt rejuvenated after taking a year off from the NFL grind.

What the 31-year-old may not have fully accounted for was working his way back into shape during the height of Florida’s summer heat and humidity. Gronkowski is preparing for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after spending his first nine NFL seasons with the New England Patriots.

“He’s probably in New England shape right now, but he’s not in Florida shape,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians quipped on Monday. “The heat is kicking his (butt) pretty good.

“It’s different, man. When you train in New England and then come down here, it’s really different. We laughed about it out there today – I don’t think he’s ever sweat that much in his life. It takes a little time to get into the Florida shape, but as far as playing in a game, he’s more than ready right now.”

Gronkowski is the leading man in a loaded tight end unit that includes former first-round pick O.J. Howard and veteran Cameron Brate.

“We’ve already made a lot of improvements in a lot of areas as far as he’s helping us out a lot in the run game with his footwork and just different things in routes that he used over the years to help him get open,” Howard said of working with Gronkowski. “Just being on the field with him, us together has been a big mismatch.

“It’s hard to cover a lot of guys like that when we’re on the field together – it’s just hard to stop that. It’s going to open up a lot of things for everyone and I think it should be real fun.”

Gronkowski is a future Hall of Famer with 521 career catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. Howard has 94 catches for 1,456 yards and 12 touchdowns through his first three seasons, while Brate enters his seventh season in Tampa Bay with 195 catches for 2,156 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Howard was the subject of trade rumors after Gronkowski was acquired, but the Bucs opted to hold onto him. Thus far, Arians has been impressed by his growth under Gronkowski’s mentorship.

“I think the biggest thing for O.J. was just learning what we’re trying to teach,” Arians said. “That’s a very difficult position in this scheme and he’s come in and he’s got a great handle on it right now.

“I think Rob’s helped him confidence-wise – seeing how good he is and telling him how good he is. When you’ve got a guy like Gronkowski and (Tom) Brady telling you you’re good, you’re probably pretty good. I think that’s helped, but he’s playing really, really well right now.”

–Field Level Media