Three-time Super Bowl Champ and new FOX Sports Analyst Rob Gronkowski has left open the possibility of a return at some point, while Robert Kraft also seemed to welcome a potential return while speaking on FOX this past Thursday. However, the timing could be tough for any return this season, relays Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Per NFL contract rules, Gronkowski would have to apply for reinstatement by December 7th, before the Patriots’ week 14 matchup against the Chiefs, to be eligible to play at all in the 2019 regular season or postseason. He is currently on the league’s reserve /retired list, and there are specific regulations that apply to his situation, since he was placed on that roster designation prior to the start of training camp.
According to a league source, La Canfora goes on to state that a player on the reserve/retired list who requested reinstatement prior to the trade deadline, which is October 29th of this season, would have to be granted that opportunity. If a player on the reserve/retired list requested reinstatement after the deadline but up until the last business day prior to the club’s 13th game, the team would have the option of accepting or declining the request. Certainly, the Patriots would welcome back Gronkowski with open arms if he elected to return at any point this season.
Here’s more from the Patriots and AFC East:
- Despite the Antonio Brown issues, the return of both 2019 first-round pick wide receiver N’Keal Harry and 2018 first-round pick tackle Isaiah Wynn from injured reserve may might turn out to be the most important “acquisitions” of all, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Harry, who injured his leg in the preseason and was placed on IR on September 2nd, is eligible to begin practicing this week. If the Patriots “start the clock” on him, Harry would be eligible to play for the first time November 3rd against the Ravens. Wynn was placed on IR with a foot/toe injury on September 17th, so he’s not eligible to begin practicing until October 26th and couldn’t play until after their bye week November 17th against the Eagles. He’s the team’s best left tackle, and it isn’t very close. On Friday, he was seen attending regular meetings with his fellow linemen.
- Despite much maligned Jets quarterback Luke Falk being waived this week, he gets paid for the week based on the timing, and according to Jason Fitzgerald of the Sporting News, he would not be stunned if he is back on the practice squad or active roster next week. Fitzgerald speculates that the Jets did not want Falk active this week in the event Sam Darnold was unable to play, due to negative fan reception. The Jets opted to bring back David Fales to back up Darnold today against the Cowboys.