After joining students for a Play 60 event in Foxboro, Gronkowski explained away his absence at this week's OTAs by telling reporters that he's "just getting healthy on the side."
"It's way different stuff," Gronkowski said, comparing this year's rehab to last offseason's protracted return from back and forearm operations. "This year, basically just gotta be patient and just work hard and literally just give it all I can every single day. ... All I can ask for is to work hard every day and let the body heal and do what it does, and hopefully when it comes down to it, Iâm ready to roll."
Gronkowski's absence leaves New England thin at the position, where -- if the season started today -- Michael Hoomanawanui would line up alongside D.J. Williams in dual tight end sets. With Williams currently penciled in as the team's top "move" tight end after playing just 11 snaps last season, look for New England to keep free agent Dustin Keller on its radar as the season approaches.
It's far from a definitive timeline from our jet-setting friend, but Gronk's scant first-person rehab nuggets are more than we're likely to get from Bill Belichick and the Patriots leading into the summer.