A surprising turn of events regarding the Patriots injury report could help swing things in the Bears’ favor on Sunday:
Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski is “highly unlikely” to play Sunday vs. Bears as he didn't travel with the team to Chicago, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2018
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski didn’t make the team’s trip to Chicago and is “highly unlikely” to play on Sunday. HOWEVER, Jim McBride, who covers the Patriots for the Boston Globe, reports that New England has yet to officially rule Gronkowski OUT for Sunday’s matchup, which adds to the intrigue here.
I suppose Gronk could take a different flight and join his teammates for the Week 7 matchup at Soldier Field, but that seems like a rarity. Besides, a player battling multiple injuries might be better off not risking it with a last-minute flight for a game that doesn’t have direct implications in the AFC East race.
As we noted in today’s Bullets, Gronkowski was on the injury report and one of 10 players who was listed as “questionable” to play on Sunday after being limited in practice with ankle and back injuries. The ankle injury has lingered for some time, but it’s been something Gronkowski has played through previously. It’s possible that the back injury is what kept him from making the team flight and possibly out of the lineup.
Bears opponents have had some tough injury luck early this season, but it didn’t do the team any good last week. But still … not having to deal with Gronk would make things a tad bit easier for a defense that spent this week licking its wounds after being gashed by the Dolphins last week.