Virtually from the time Rob Gronkowski first broke his arm last November fans have wondered when he should return. Some felt he should sit until the playoffs while others felt he needed to get back on the field as soon as possible.
We all know what happened: he returned for the regular-season finale and then broke the same arm two weeks later in the divisional playoffs against Houston. The second break forced another surgery and complication in the form of an infection eventually required additional procedures.
That's what we know. What we don't yet understand is when Gronkowski will return this time. The team opted not to place him on the physically unable to perform list before the start of the season, so it's reasonable to think the coaches felt he'd return before Week 7. We're now preparing for Week 6 and there are lingering reports indicating he has yet to be cleared medically, and the team continues to label the situation as "day to day."
Obviously all Patriots fans want to see the dominant tight end back in the lineup, but what is less certain is how they feel about the current situation. Is there a growing sense of frustration with the apparent delay in his return, or are fans comfortable waiting for Gronkowski to return when he and the doctors feel it's right.
So, our question this week is a simple one – Are you frustrated with Rob Gronkowski's current situation?
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
Fair or not, I am getting frustrated waiting for Gronkowski to get back on the field. Part of that is the fact that the offense has been so bad, especially in the red zone. It's so easy to envision how much of a positive impact the tight end could have if he were part of the equation.
Another aspect of the frustration is that Gronkowski has been practicing since the first week of the season. Had that not been the case, there'd be less of an expectation that he could be out there. It would be more of a case of out of sight and out of mind. But he's in our sights all the time. Given the fact that he's been running around the practice field and catching passes since early September, it only naturally encourages the idea that he should be back on the field.
Gronkowski is the most irreplaceable player in the NFL today. Knowing that he's seemingly so close to getting out there but not yet ready to contribute to a team that could use his services quite badly is frustrating. It just is.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
I can only assume Gronkowski would be playing if he could. When he is cleared medically by all involved, I expect him to be back on the field. But I don't want him playing if his arm or back aren't fully healed, therefore making him more susceptible to further injury. So, why should I be frustrated over something that's out of everyone's control?
The important thing to me is getting him back on the field when he's ready – both physically and mentally. Whenever that is the case is OK by me. And having him in the mix now isn't nearly as important to me as having him healthy and productive for the playoffs, which he hasn't been recently.
Obviously the offense needs his enormous skill set as soon as possible, but I'm fine waiting for him to be at 100 percent before he returns.
Now it's the fans turn to cast their vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll.