Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has made another step in his return to the field after offseason back and forearm surgeries. Gronkowski practiced in full pads Sunday. Here is what ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss saw:
"In the 15 minutes that reporters were present, Gronkowski went through running drills as players ran the width of the field multiple times, then was part of an agility drill in which players step over bags while keeping their eyes up to catch a football thrown by a coach," Reiss wrote. "He also took part in a lower-key blocking drill in which he worked on technique by getting out of his stance and hitting a blocking pad held by a coach."
The expectation is that Gronk won't be ready for Week 1 or probably Week 2, but he could return by Week 3 versus the Buccaneers. But drafting him in the third, fourth or fifth round isn't really about having faith that he play again; it's more a belief that he will play like the Rob Gronkowski of previous seasons. I remain skeptical of that, especially since back surgeries can drastically impact a player over the long haul. Zach Sudfeld should see a lot of playing time early on.