Rob Gronkowski (back) doubtful to play vs. Bears


The New England Patriots likely will be without Rob Gronkowski on Sunday.

The star tight end did not make the trip with the team to Chicago ahead of its clash with the Bears, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. The Boston Globe first reported the development.

Gronkowski was limited in practice all week by an ankle injury, but was also listed with a back injury on Friday's injury report. Gronk was listed as questionable, but the Pats downgraded the tight end to doubtful on Saturday.

Gronkowski has not missed a game all season. Through six games, he has recorded 26 receptions on 35 targets for 405 yards and one score.

However, a source told NFL Network's Mike Giardi that despite the tight end's availability this season, "All I'll say is this year hasn't been easy for him physically."

Dwayne Allen should get the bulk of the snaps at tight end in Gronk's absence, as Jacob Hollister was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Defensive linemen Geneo Grissom (ankle) and John Simon (shoulder) were also downgraded to out.