Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel are running the risk of joining the rest of the football work and simply watching this Sunday night showdown between the Patriots and Packers.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, both of these New England offensive weapons will be tested pregame, but there is legit concern whether or not they can play in Week 9. Both players have originally been ruled as questionable for this matchup.
With Gronkowski, the tight end has been dealing with a couple of injuries, but there does now seem to be the question of which one is bothering him. He’s been playing through an ankle injury for the majority of the season, while he was held out of their Week 7 matchup against the Bears after suffering back spasms late in the week. Gronkowski was held out of Thursday’s practice this week, but that was reportedly simply a maintenance day for him to rest up.
What makes things a bit interesting with Gronkowski is that in his report on Sunday morning Schefter is simply citing the tight end’s back as the primary injury, while Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network told WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan program on Friday that the tight end’s ankle is more of the issue currently than the back.
This week was also an odd one for the tight end off the field as he abruptly ended his press conference after being peppered with questions about his lack of production in the red zone this year. This season, Gronkowski has ben able to post 29 catches for 448 yards and one score.
As for Michel, he was limited all week with that knee injury he suffered against the Chicago Bears in Week 7. While the injury looked like it’d result in a far more severe diagnosis, Michel only missed last week’s contest against Buffalo and still has a chance to go in this one. There was no structural damage done to Michel’s knee, so the Patriots could simply be weighing their options of whether or not to expose Michel to potential further injury at this point.
While speaking to reporter late this week, Michel noted that he is feeling “pretty good” and if it were up to him he’d try and play on Sunday.
“It all depends on coach and his decision, whatever that is,” Michel said.
He added: “If it was up to me, for these teammates I would do whatever it takes. If I had one leg I would be out there trying to fight for these guys. I am around a great group of guys so I would do anything for these guys.”
In six games plays, Michel has rushed for 422 yards on 4.4 yards per carry to go along with four touchdowns.
The official word on both Gronkowski and Michel will come 90 minutes before the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff inside their inactives report.