Rob Gronkowski, you savage man-bro beast. You need to play in the Super Bowl. Seriously. Do it for the strippers. Do it for all the bros out there. Do it for me. Spike that ball, you beautiful bastard.
Everybody in New England saw that ankle twist completely around. My reaction was he’s done, out for the season, that’s it 100%. Then he was back on the field a few minutes later, playing as though nothing was wrong. To be honest, I’m worried that it was a combination of toughness and adrenaline that got Gronk back out there, and I’m even more worried that he did additional damage in returning to the game.
Yesterday Gronk was listed as “Did not practice” for a practice that didn’t even occur (hypothetical practices? what has the NFL come to?). He’s walking with a boot. You better believe that the ankle is sore as hell. While I believe that Gronk did serious damage to his ankle – this ain’t no sprain, just watch the tape – I also have no doubt that he’ll play in the Super Bowl. They’ll dope that ankle up good and proper, and hopefully he won’t lose a step.
Everybody knows that if Gronk’s out, it’s a huge loss for the Patriots. He was Tom Brady’s best target this year, and that’s enough of an argument if we leave it at that. But the more I look at this match-up, the more I realize that Gronkowski could very well be the difference maker. With the pressure the Giants will be putting on Brady, he’ll be looking to get the ball out of his hands almost instantaneously. Sure, Brady has the chemistry to complete these passes to Wes Welker and Deion Branch, although they tend to leave little room for error. But in a blitz situation, Gronk has the size to be easily found, and the speed and strength to create the separation needed.
With blitzes coming (and we know they will) Gronk may only have to shred a tackler or two to break a big play into the endzone. I just can’t see that Patriots winning without the Tom-Gronk connect being a vital part of their success.