FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was on the practice field for a second straight day Monday as he works his way back after undergoing multiple surgeries on his left forearm and one surgery on his back this offseason.
While Sunday’s practice session, Gronkowski’s first of the summer, took place in pads, Monday was little more than a walkthrough (in helmets and shells) as the Patriots prep for Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
The portion of the practice observed by the media was limited to stretching and a brief plays-on-air period, so there was not much to assess Gronkowski on. During the plays-on-air portion of the practice, Gronkowski was one of two tight ends working with the starters, as was Zach Sudfeld.
Gronkowski's presence with the top group should not necessarily be taken as a sign that he's a projected starter for Sunday. The precise timetable for his return remains unclear. He’s not expected to be ready for the season opener.
The lone Patriot not spotted at Monday’s practice was veteran offensive lineman Will Svitek, who was wearing a right knee brace on Sunday when spotted inside of the locker room.
The Patriots shuffled their offensive line over the weekend, adding two players through the league's waiver wire, center Braxton Cave and guard Chris Barker. The team released Josh Kline earlier Monday morning and re-signed veteran defensive back Marquice Cole, who was present for the session.
In addition, there was an offensive lineman wearing number 71, with the best bet being that this was a player who was added to the team's practice squad, which has three open spots.