Sep 12 2013, 11:46pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
This was what NFL.com's Ian Rapoport divulged on "NFL Total Access Kickoff" pregame show. He said the Patriots "hope" Gronkowski will suit up in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per his colleague, Chris Wesseling.
Raporport also added Gronkowski "will be playing in Week 4" when the Patriots travel south to face the Atlanta Falcons.
Brett Loguirato of Sports Illustrated wrote in a September 12 update that the tight end's condition "has continued to improve in the aftermath of offseason surgeries on his left forearm and lower back."
In addition, Gronkowski also practiced for the first time in full pads last week, per Loguirato.
Gronkowski told MassLive.com's Nick Underhill last week that taking the field for the Patriots once again is not just about the full recovery of his forearm and lower back. His whole body has to be in sync.
"You take off (time) like that, you have to get conditioned again. You got to get stronger throughout your whole body -- your legs, your upper body, your arms -- so that's all at play, too. You can't just jump back out there because your arm is ready. You got to get your whole body there.
He also said he wouldn't be shocked at all if he suits up sooner than later.
"Not at all (surprised). It just takes work and dedication. Listening to your trainers and your coaches. That's all I can ask out of myself. That's all the trainers can ask out of me, all the coaches, all the trainers. Just give what I have that day and progress every day."
Gronkowski hauled in 55 passes for 790 yards in 11 games for the Patriots in 2012.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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