New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons after a week of cautious optimism about his status. Gronkowski's family might have played a role in his absence.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning" that the Patriots believe Gronkowski has looked good in practice and wants to play in game action after recovering from offseason back and forearm surgeries. Rapoport went on to say the Patriots also believe Gronk's father has been vocal in keeping his son off the field because of the fact the tight end re-injured himself after coming back to play in the 2012 playoffs. Meanwhile, Gronk has told some teammates that he might not return until Week 6.
Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola also didn't make the trip to Atlanta for the game. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported earlier this week that Amendola's groin was torn off the bone. He's getting closer to game action.
We've heard whispers that the Patriots and Amendola had a difference of opinion about how to treat his injury. Amendola has per-game roster bonuses in his contract and wanted to avoid having surgery that would keep him out of the lineup longer.
The Patriots are 3-0, but their schedule gets much tougher in the coming weeks. They need their offensive weapons back on the field, but instead, they have drama surrounding those players' absence.