The focus heading into tomorrow’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots has been overwhelmingly on Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough — but plenty of fans were looking forward to another homecoming. Since joining the Buccaneers prior to the 2020 season, former Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski has yet to return to Gillette Stadium.
Unfortunately for Gronk, his reunion will not take place as planned tomorrow night. Due to a rib injury sustained during the team’s Week 3 loss to the Rams on Sunday, the veteran tight end did not travel with the team to Foxboro and has been officially ruled OUT for tomorrow’s game. To say the least, NFL fans and analysts from all over the league were disappointed by this news.
So one homecoming has been called off. https://t.co/HBRoK0HGhk
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 2, 2021
Wanted to see the Gronk spike more than anything tomorrow https://t.co/UZx23X612E
— Hookah Doncic (@MasterTes) October 2, 2021
This game may feel like a Super Bowl but still not worth forcing Gronk to play in week 4. Still sucks he won’t at least be in the building for Sunday night. https://t.co/oLvsSxYw7c
— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) October 2, 2021
[wpcc-script async src=” https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js ” Prior to his injury on Sunday, the 11th-year tight end had 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns, proving to be one of Brady’s favorite redzone targets among a stacked receiving corps. With the way things have been going this season, it seemed as if a Brady-to-Gronk touchdown pass in tomorrow’s homecoming game was a foregone conclusion. Gronkowski was able to return to the game (albeit in some obvious discomfort) after taking a big hit to the midsection this past weekend, and his X-ray results came back negative. Many people assumed he would fight through the pain to participate in this emotional reunion. Despite the fact that the storylines surrounding this game make it feel larger-than-life, it is only a Week 4 regular-season game. Allowing Gronk to recover and return as a productive pass catcher as soon as he’s ready will benefit the Buccaneers in the long run. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:20 p.m. tomorrow. Gillette Stadium will host a game at 2:00 p.m. ET.