According to NFL Insider Jordan Schultz, Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski he will miss his third straight game Thursday night against the Eagles. The veteran tight end suffered broken ribs and a lung injury in the team’s Week 3 loss to the Rams. Gronkowski was not placed on injured reserve, but will miss three games anyway.
🚨 Sources: #Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski is OUT for Thursday night’s game with the #Eagles. I have been told that Gronk has made “steady progress” since he suffered cracked / broken ribs and a punctured lung in Week 3, but has not yet reached that point.
– Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) October 12, 2021
The news is not a big surprise. Gronkowski had not participated in either the Bucs’ road practice on Monday or Tuesday. The 32-year-old has a substantial injury history, and playing him before he was 100 percent ready seemed silly. The Bucs have missed Gronkowski as a blocker, but they have plenty of weapons in the passing game to carry the load. On the season, Gronkowski has 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns.
In week 5, OJ Howard outperformed Cam Brate on plays for the first time this season, 44-28. Howard caught two passes for 19 yards, while Brate had a reception for 12 yards. Third chain tight end Codey McElroy entered the game late but dropped his only goal. Backup tackle Josh Wells has also served as an additional blocker, heavy-duty tight end.
Gronkowski is expected to return in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. The Bucs host the Bears on Sunday, October 24 at 4:25 pm.