Rob Gronkowski in ‘pretty good spirits’ after taking hit to helmet



ESPN - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tight end Rob Gronkowski‘s status for Super Bowl LII is of critical importance to the New England Patriots after he was knocked out of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game with a head injury, according to the team.

Here is where things stand:

  • Gronkowski was present at the facility Monday. By the time reporters arrived in the locker room, his chair was folded up at his locker, and he had left.

  • Teammate/captain Matthew Slater described Gronkowski as being in “pretty good spirits” when they talked.

  • It has been reported that Gronkowski has a concussion — and it certainly looked that way based on how wobbly he was on his feet after the hit — but the team has not confirmed that.

  • The earliest that confirmation would likely come from the team is Wednesday, which is the first day both Super Bowl teams have to submit their first participation report. That participation report must specify each player’s injury and level of participation in practice. On Friday of this week, the teams must add a game status to their injury report (questionable, doubtful, out).

  • According to ESPN Stats & Information, Gronkowski has been listed on the injury report 49 times over his eight-year career, but never with a concussion. That doesn’t include the times he was placed on injured reserve. In 2013, when he tore his ACL on a hit by T.J. Ward that ended his season, Gronkowski was believed to have sustained a concussion on the play as well.

  • Asked what he thought about the hit by Jaguars safety Barry Church that knocked Gronkowski out of the game, Bill Belichick said on sports radio WEEI on Monday: “Two officials threw flags. I think it was a penalty.” Asked if there was an intent to go high, Belichick said, “You can’t judge intent. I can’t judge intent. I think it was a penalty, no question.”