ESPN Boston reports ILB Brandon Spikes "hasn't been seen much" since the start of the Patriots' offseason program.
It's an interesting strategy for a player going into the final year of his rookie contract, but there have been no reports Spikes is planning to skip this week's "voluntary" OTAs. Going on 26, Spikes is coming off his strongest campaign. He started 14 games last season, grading out as Pro Football Focus' No. 9 inside linebacker. Spikes offers little on passing downs, but could put himself in position for a nice payday with a similarly strong 2013.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Rob Gronkowski's back surgery recovery is expected to take ten weeks.
There are about 16 weeks left before Week 1. Profootballtalk has reported the back surgery will occur roughly 3-4 weeks following Gronkowski's Monday arm procedure, putting a tentative return timetable at 2-3 weeks before the season, assuming all healing proceeds without setbacks. At this point, we can't expect Gronkowski to participate at all in the preseason, but he still has a shot to be ready for Opening Day. The Pats open Sunday, September 8 at Buffalo.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells Profootballtalk.com that Rob Gronkowski will "probably" require back surgery after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Robert Watkins.
It's confirmation of NFL Network's previous report that the surgery "looks likely." Per PFT, the back surgery will take place in 3-4 weeks following Monday's surgery on Gronkowski's forearm. Doctors don't want to schedule the two surgeries too close together. Although the back surgery is considered "minor" in comparison to the operation that cost him the entire 2009 college season, Gronkowski's Week 1 availability is now very much in doubt.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Rob Gronkowski's potential back operation is considered "minor," and wouldn't necessarily sideline him any longer than his arm surgeries.
The back surgery is considered "likely," per NFL Net's Albert Breer, but Schefter reports the operation would take place within the timeframe of Gronk's absence due to a fourth arm procedure. "He is going to be fine long term," said a source close to Gronkowski. "(He is) not worried about the short term, i.e. start of training camp." Either way, multiple offseason surgeries on multiple body parts are cause for major fantasy football alarm. And the fact that Gronkowski is in line to have had two back surgeries since 2009 is absolutely a long-term worry.
Rob Gronkowski underwent an MRI on Monday to check a disc issue in his back and "could require surgery."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport heard Gronkowski is battling "chronic back pain," necessitating the MRI. It's worth remembering Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season at Arizona after surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. A first-round talent, Gronk slipped to the 42nd pick amid rumors he had spinal stenosis. USA Today's Mike Garafolo reports Gronkowski's back became an issue again "dating back to last season," though it concerns a "different disc" than the one Gronk had surgically repaired in college. A decision on whether further surgery will be required has "not yet been made." Gronkowski is already scheduled for a fourth arm surgery on Monday. He'll seek an opinion on the back from Dr. Robert Watkins "in the near future." Per NFL Network's Albert Breer, the back surgery "looks likely."
Profootballtalk.com is "told" that doctors are confident Rob Gronkowski's arm infection has "subsided," and that he'll avoid a fifth surgery.
A fourth surgery is inevitable and expected to take place Monday. A fifth surgery would jeopardize Gronkowski's Week 1 availability. Dr. James Andrews will be a consultant during next week's surgery. The PFT report is more optimistic and confident about the clearance of Gronkowski's infection than recent stories from NFL Network. If Gronkowski's infection is gone, he'll be worth consideration beginning late in the first round of fantasy drafts.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports "at this point," the Patriots expect Rob Gronkowski (arm surgeries) to be ready for training camp, although that's subject to change pending clearance of his arm infection.
Gronk will have his arm reexamined on Monday. Doctors plan to perform a fourth surgery to remove a plate from the arm. If the infection has not cleared, surgery No. 5 would be required and Gronkowski would almost certainly miss football games. While Gronk is lucky these problems have occurred during the offseason as opposed to the regular season, he's not out of the woods just yet.