Gronkowski has practiced fully with teammates for a few weeks and even simulated Jimmy Graham in practice last week for the Patriots. Rumors rose this week about Gronk's willingness to help his team, but apparently Dr. James Andrews has delayed clearing Gronkowski's forearm injury recovery. Gronk is coming off multiple arm surgeries and an minor procedure on his back,
This couldn't come at a better time for the Patriots, when they've been looking for consistent offensive weapons for Brady all season and for a worse time for the Jets. Without Gronkowski and a host of others, the Patriots seemed very beatable, but Gronk's availability could change the balance of the game.
Gronkowski's return green-lights Tom Brady's best offensive weapon in a crucial game against the 3-3 Jets. The Jets just had trouble defending Steeler tight end Heath Miller and might again this week with Gronkowski, one of the league's best when healthy. Breer was recently informed by some Patriots players that Gronkowski was "dominant" in practice recently so any hopes that he might not be fully ready might prove false.
Either way, the Jets will get a chance to beat the Patriots with one of their best. The Jets will need to come up with a solution on how to neutralize or at least limit Rob Gronkowski's impact in the game, otherwise his presence in the passing game alone could be all that Brady needs. Demario Davis and Antonio Allen and whatever sub-package secondary players the Jets use against Gronkowski are going to have their hands full all day.