As if losing Tom Brady for four games wasn’t bad enough, the New England Patriots could be without Rob Gronkowski this Sunday night in Arizona. Gronkowski injured his hamstring in practice last week and may miss Week 1 as a result.
“I think it’s going to be a game-time decision,” Boston Globe Patriots reporter Jim McBride said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I would put it at 50/50. He wouldn’t put a percentage on it for us (Thursday), but just the fact that he admitted that he wasn’t 100 percent is kind of strange in that Patriots locker room. They usually don’t talk about injuries at all, but Gronk did. He said it’s a little hammy thing. He said he felt good, but I would have to question whether he’s going to play. I would say 50/50 at best and a game-time decision for sure.”
Gronkowski led the Patriots with 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
“He’s such a difference-maker,” McBride said. “After Brady, I’m not sure there’s anyone on that team that makes such a difference. He’s such a dynamic player. Even when he’s not targeted, he’s a vicious blocker in the run game. He’s missed no matter what the play call is, whether it’s for him or not. So big shoes to fill for Martellus Bennett and rookie A.J. Derby if Gronk can’t go.”
The Patriots are six-point underdogs heading into Glendale.
“I think you got to rely on that defense and you make Garoppolo comfortable early,” McBride said. “You put in an extra tight end. We have a fullback, James Develin, who was missed last year with a broken leg, but his presence will be felt this year blocking. So I think you get the ball out quick and you rely on your defense and you just try to steal one on the road.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.