Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said he plans to play in every game in 2014, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss via Twitter. Last week, several outlets reported that Gronkowski had a 50-50 chance of playing in the regular-season opener as he is experiencing a slow recovery from ACL surgery. For his part, Gronkowski believes he'll be ready to start the season but ultimately, that decision will be up to the Patriots' medical staff.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a long history of playing injury information close to the chest, so it's easy to see this situation with Gronkowski shaping up as one of those tough Week 1 decisions for fantasy owners. When the Patriots play their first game on Sept. 7, it will be just short of nine months to the day since Gronkowski's knee injury. Bet on him being on the field but don't be surprised to see some rust. The greater worry for Gronkowski is not the first game, but his ability to play the next 15 games without sustaining another big injury. He's being selected late in the third round on average and as the second tight end overall.