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Rob Gronkowski OUT in Week 4 vs. Patriots due to multiple fractured ribs, could miss several weeks

We break down the news that Gronk is dealing with a rib injury, and what it means for Week 4.

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball during the first half in the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Saturday update: According to Adam Schefter, Gronkowski could miss several weeks with multiple fractured ribs. The team was holding out hope he could recover in time for what is clearly a big game against the Patriots but ultimately went the cautious route and sidelined the star tight end.

Saturday update: Gronkowski did not make the trip to New England, according to Adam Schefter. He is officially out for Tampa Bay’s showdown with the Patriots Sunday night. Gronkowski was listed as doubtful Friday so there was always the likelihood of him missing the contest. It’ll be tough for him to watch this game from the couch, knowing he could’ve joined Tom Brady in what is expected to be an emotional reunion.

Friday update: There’s a new wrinkle to this whole Gronk back in Foxboro thing. So we’ve had reports saying there’s no way Gronk will miss this game. That’s becoming somewhat of a stretch considering the Bucs are listed the tight end as doubtful to play in the game. We’ve seen players listed as doubtful end up being active and playing, but it isn’t common.

Rob Gronkowski has yet to practice this week, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says that he’ll be able to go this week against his old team. He was slo spotted at practice Friday morning, making it even more likely he’ll be starting on Sunday.

Thursday update: Rob Gronkowski was not seen at practice on Thursday, per Rick Stroud. He is dealing with a rib injury and will likely get Friday to test it out. If he gets a limited practice in then, I expect he’ll play against his old team in Week 4.

Wednesday update: Rob Gronkowski won’t practice on Wednesday with his rib injury, per Carmen Vitali. At this point it isn’t too much of a concern, but we’d like to see him get a limited practice in on Thursday and full on Friday before his return to Foxboro.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski is “highly likely” to play in Week 4 vs. the New England Patriots this week despite taking a shot to the ribs against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, per Jordan Schultz. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Gronk’s X-Rays came back negative on his ribs.

Fantasy football implications

There was never really a doubt that Gronk would be held out of his return to New England. It’s the first time Tom Brady and Gronkowski will face their former team in Massachusetts. So feel very safe rolling Gronk out there in Week 4 in a heavy narrative spot. Through three games, Gronkowski has 16 receptions for 184 yards and 4 TDs. He remains a strong TE1 play for Week 4 despite the injury. You can bet Brady will be targeting Gronk early and often on Sunday night vs. the Pats.