Rob Gronkowski: No rift with Pats

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said Wednesday that he is on the same page with the team in regard to his rehab and eventual return from offseason back and forearm surgeries.

"Yes, definitely," he said. "We were on the same page from the very get-go. And [we're] still on the same page and it's going good. I'm progressing every week, I'm feeling better every week, getting stronger every week and better conditioning every week. Just still sticking to the motto 'day by day.'"

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter recently reported that members of the tight end's inner circle would like to ensure that he is fully healthy before making a return to the field, while those who have watched him in recent practices -- during which Gronkowski has even been tackled -- don't understand why he has yet to play a game.

Gronkowski insisted that the team has not pressured him into making a return before he is ready.

"No, not at all," he said. "Everything's great around here. Just going out to practice with the team and practicing with the team, it's helpful every single week to get the chemistry back down and get the timing of football back down."

The hesitation to return before he is fully healthy could stem from a belief that Gronkowski came back too soon from a broken forearm suffered in Week 11 last season. Gronkowski returned for the regular-season finale, playing a limited role, before re-breaking the forearm during the team's first playoff game.

Gronkowski declined to comment on whether he felt he rushed into a return last year.

"Last year is way in the past, I don't even like thinking about last year," he said.

As for his status going forward, Gronkowski doesn't know when he'll play again.

"When I'm ready, I'm ready," he said. "If it's this Sunday, next Sunday, the Sunday after that, it's just going day-by-day. So I really couldn't tell you when it's going to be."

And while a timetable for his return remains unclear, the tight end did note that he is feeling as good now as he has at any point during his rehabilitation.

"Yes, I would say that it's the best I've felt and that's because from working harder each week," he said. "I'm progressing every week."

The Patriots (4-0) visit the Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) on Sunday.

Gronkowski was one of 15 Patriots players listed as having limited participation in practice Wednesday.