Return of Rob Gronkowski against Saints comes at perfect time

Rob Gronkowski Patriots
Rob Gronkowski is set to return to the field from injury this Sunday against New Orleans. Credit: Getty Images

The Rob Gronkowski Watch has been in effect since, well … it’s always been in effect.

Whether he’s ripping down footballs in the field, partying it up with his brothers, or going under the knife, what Gronk does is usually headline news around New England.

Unfortunately for Pats fans, he hasn’t made any headlines on the field this season because he’s been out for the team’s first five games, still recovering from back and forearm surgery.

That may all change this Sunday.

According to multiple reports, Gronkowski is expected to be cleared to play this week and should be active for Sunday’s tilt against the undefeated Saints.

The news couldn’t come at a better time for a Patriots offense that has been borderline unwatchable to start the year, with the most recent example being the six points they put up in a loss to the Bengals.

It also validates the Patriots’ decision to not put him on the PUP list to start the season, which would have prevented him from playing until Week 7 at the earliest.

With Danny Amendola returning against the Bengals, and Gronkowski likely to return this Sunday, the Patriots offense may actually start to resemble one. The Saints, on the other hand, have the definition of one.

The Saints average 405 yards of offense per game (fourth in NFL) and 327 passing yards per game (second in NFL). Quarterback Drew Brees has plenty of weapons, including a stud tight end of his own, Jimmy Graham, who has 593 receiving yards and five touchdowns through five games. According to Pro Football Focus, Graham has been split out wide or in the slot in 166 of his 269 offensive snaps.


“Real tough. Graham is a very good receiving tight end,” Bill Belichick said. “They split him out, they keep him kind of in the traditional tight end position, but he has a big route tree . . . tough to handle on third down.”

Even the Saints’ running backs get in on the passing game. Darren Sproles is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL.

“Sproles is a real explosive guy that can take a pass behind the line of scrimmage, screen pass, angle route or flat route,” Belichick said. “Also he has a pretty big route tree too. Vertical routes, hot routes, outside routes. They use some empty formation – not a ton of it but enough. It’s hard to find [Sproles and Graham] – both of them. They move around quite a bit. They’re definitely tough matchups.”

So while much of the talk will be on the undefeated Saints offense heading into the game, the hope is that there will be some positive buzz – and maybe some hope – surrounding the Patriots offense when it’s over.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.