FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski declared that he is ready to play in the Sept. 7 season opener against the Dolphins, while also adding that a full workload isn't a realistic expectation.
“Definitely not [playing] every single snap. But just get out there, get my feet wet, whatever coaches have, whatever we game-plan this week, will be good," he said.
With this in mind, here's a look at how the Patriots gradually brought Gronkowski back upon his return to action last year (including penalties):
at Jets: 51 of 79
vs. Dolphins: 33 of 65
vs. Steelers: 48 of 75
at Panthers: 63 of 72
vs. Broncos: 86 of 86
A realistic expectation Sunday would be for Gronkowski to be part of a rotation or a specific package, perhaps dedicated to the red zone, where he does some of his best work.