NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport provided a good news/bad news scenario for New England Patriots backers on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access Kickoff" pregame show.
On the bright side, the Patriots "hope" Rob Gronkowski will return from his back and forearm injuries by Week 3 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The tight end "will be playing in Week 4" when the Pats visit the Atlanta Falcons, Rapoport reported.
The update on Amendola isn't so rosy, as NFL Media's Albert Breer suggested Wednesday.
The Patriots' medical staff still is trying to figure out what is going on with Amendola's groin, according to Rapoport, who added that the receiver could be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks.
With running back Shane Vereen already out until Week 11, a long-term absence for Amendola is a severe blow to Tom Brady's aerial attack. The Patriots' nominal No. 1 receiver came up huge late in their win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Brady will lean heavily on the ground game versus the New York Jets on Thursday night. If all goes according to plan, Gronkowski will join receivers Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins to cobble together a reshuffled passing attack in Week 3.