Rob Gronkowski was outstanding in the Patriots’ win over the Bengals. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)
FOXBORO — It’s no secret Rob Gronkowski wasn’t at 100 percent even when he opened his season in Week 3 following missing the first two games.
The All-Pro tight end injured his hamstring during a joint practice with the Bears in August and was still working his way back to full strength as most recently as a few weeks ago.
In his first two games he had just one total catch, but once Tom Brady returned in Week 5, Gronkowski showed he was back to himself.
In the past two games, Gronkowski has 12 catches for 271 yards — the most production in any back-to-back games over the course of his career.
So on the field he appears back to full strength and then this week, he was removed from the injury report, which was another indication of being back to 100 percent.
“I really don’t even pay attention really to the injury report,” Gronkowski said. “That’s for the team to put out there, but every single week I just try to go out and do the most I can every week. I’ve been doing everything now, so that’s why I’m off it.”
Added Gronkowski: “You just build it up over the weeks, over the days. It’s been now a week or two or so since I’ve just been going full, so I can’t really recall the day. I’ve just been building it up over the weeks. It went good. It was a very smooth process.”
Gronkowski and Brady have developed great chemistry over the years, evident by Gronkowski’s touchdown catch last Sunday where Brady threw it only where Gronkowski could get it and the defense had no chance.
“I would say it’s a matter of everything – conversations, off the field in the meeting room, skill, just placement of the ball, being able to go down and grab it,” Brady said. “It doesn’t happen overnight, either. I definitely know to be aware that Tom [Brady] could put the ball at any position at any time on the field, so to be ready and adjust your body in any way to get to the ball. He saw it open. I truly believed that it wasn’t going to come to me. I felt like the coverage and everything [was] there – but the way he can just sneak a ball in and have the receiver be the only guy being able to make the play is just an unreal characteristic that he has as a quarterback.”