New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did not participate in the team’s joint practices and exhibition game against the Washington Redskins last week, but the 25-year-old says there is no reason to be concerned about his surgically repaired right knee.
“Improving every single week so far,” Gronkowski said Sunday to ESPNBoston.com. “No setbacks or anything like that. Going out there and feeling better every single time I’m out there on the field.”
Gronkowski stayed in Foxborough last week to work with his trainers and rest his knee and body.
“Basically went hard during the practices and all last week, so a little time off to let the knee heal a little bit more,” Gronkowski said. “Can’t always be grinding on it 24/7, when you are coming off an injury. You got to let it heal, so no setbacks, improving every single week. Feeling better since the time off so it’s going well.
“You guys know how when you got something you can’t just keep going on it. You got to let it heal. You got to let your body rest.”
Gronkowski is still not cleared for contact.
“I’m not out here running routes or anything at 80 percent as you can see. I’m just running out there going full speed in the drills, but they are just limiting drills I can do from the contact,” Gronkowski said. “When I can start getting contact, I will ease into it a little bit, but most likely when I get cleared to do contact, it will be full go, too.”
Gronkowski won’t say with certainty that he will be ready for Week 1 of the season.
“That’s a while away — Week 1 — about a month away,” Gronkowski said. “So right now just making sure I take one step at a time. Can’t think ahead; just got to do what I do right now so that when the time comes I’m ready to go.”