Source: Gronk won't go on PUP list

The New England Patriots will keep recovering tight end Rob Gronkowski on their 53-man roster, and not place him on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, a league source tells ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Gronkowski isn't expected to be ready for the season-opener Sept. 8 against the Buffalo Bills, or for the second game, Sept. 12, against the New York Jets. But there has been enough progress in Gronkowski's recovery from forearm and back surgeries to think that a return at some point within the six first weeks of the regular season is a realistic expectation, a source told ESPNBoston.com.

Had Gronkowski opened the year on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, he wouldn't have been eligible to practice or play in a game for the first six weeks of the regular season.

The Patriots currently have Gronkowski, four-year veteran Michael Hoomanawanui and rookie Zach Sudfeld at tight end.

The Patriots did place Adrian Wilson on season-ending injured reserve Saturday.

Other notable players released by the Patriots include punter Zoltan Mesko, defensive tackle Marcus Forston and running back George Winn.

Mesko, the team's starter in each of the past three seasons, was due to make $1.4 million this season, which could play a role in the team's decision to keep undrafted rookie Ryan Allen, who will have a modest base salary of $405,000 this season.

Forston was signed as an undrafted free agent last season and had two stints on the team's active roster. He was considered a candidate to be a rotational lineman for the team this season behind Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Field Yates was used in this report.