Rob Gronkowski will miss Patriots’ season opener
No Brady, and now no Gronk.
The New England Patriots announced Friday night that tight end Rob Gronkowski had been downgraded from questionable to out of Sunday’s season opener at Arizona.
Offensive linemen Jonathan Cooper and Nate Solder also are out.
Gronkowski, who didn’t play in the preseason, has been nursing a sore hamstring and acknowledged he’s not 100 percent earlier this week.
"Not since that one time when we were practicing with the Bears" on Aug. 15, he said on Thursday.
Pats have seen Gronk miss a full season of games since his breakout in 2011. 1.5 wins per 16 games, 4.7 PPG worse. pic.twitter.com/8IgQxm59RO
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 10, 2016
Before the "Gronk is injury prone and brittle" takes get too hot, did you know he has played in 35 of a possible 37 games the last 2 years?
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 10, 2016
The Patriots already were trying to plug gaps on the offensive line after allowing 38 sacks in 2015, and Solder has been a steady presence over the past six years. Cooper came to New England in a trade for linebacker Chandler Jones and suffered a foot injury early in camp.
The Patriots released center Bryan Stork and placed right tackle Sebastian Vollmer on the physically unable to perform list at the end of camp. David Andrews, in his second year, is expected to start at center, while Marcus Cannon (eight starts in 2015) moved into the starting lineup at tackle.
Tom Brady also will miss the opener as he begins his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.