Earlier this week Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski pledged to play in Sunday's season opener against the Dolphins.
"Super excited, super pumped," he admitted on Monday. "I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it. My mentality now is 'I'm ready to go, I'm ready to be out there, I'm ready to hit, I'm ready to start going.'"
A day later, coach Bill Belichick suggested we all pump the brakes on that idea.
“I’m glad that Rob is optimistic about his situation,” Belichick said. “We’ll go through the week of practice and take a look at everything and everybody.
“With all due respect to Rob, I’m glad he feels the way he does, but in the end, we’ll have to make the decision we feel is best for the team.”
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels added: “Rob’s been practicing and we’ve been out doing some different things, building our offensive systems and packages as we go. Whatever we can, or are available to use him to do, however big, small, whatever the decision is at the end of the week, he’ll be ready to do it.
“We’re going to try and do what we think is the right thing to do to win the game this week. That would encompass the way we try to use all of our guys.
Gronkowski was limited in practice on Wednesday, which was expected.
Gronk originally injured his knee last December in a game against the Browns when then-Cleveland safety T.J. Ward went low after the tight end caught a pass downfield.
A year ago at this time, Gronkowski was recovering from a forearm injury and he didn't see the field until Week 7 and he didn't play every snap until Week 12.