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TE Rob Gronkowski, TB - 10/2/21 Out For Week 4


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I am starting to hope news will come out that Gronk will miss the whole year, then I will try and get him super cheap everywhere.

Some dynasty people go crazy if a guy misses the 1st game of the year, and some basically give guys away who are out for the year. I will be a happy taker there.

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Rob Gronkowski already damaged goods?

By James Walker | ESPN.com

Rob Gronkowski is an elite tight end for the New England Patriots. He’s a big target who gets open, has strong hands and blocks well.

But it’s also fair to officially tag Gronkowski with the “injury-prone” label. The latest news comes from USA Today and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who both report that Gronkowski could be headed for back surgery. It would be performed in the same time frame as Gronkowski's upcoming fourth arm surgery, which will sideline him for approximately 10 weeks.

Gronkowski's back issue is not considered serious. But the overriding theme is that Gronkowski, 24, is already becoming damaged goods. He entered the NFL with back problems, which is why New England was able to draft him in the second round. Gronkowski also had major ankle surgery in 2012 and three operations (soon to be four) on his broken left arm. New England's physical marvel is starting to look like a crash-test dummy just three seasons into his career.

I've written numerous times that Gronkowski has the ability to be a Hall of Famer if he stays healthy. But the past two years have shown that that will be difficult. Gronkowski plays with reckless abandon, and it will be tough to change his playing style. At the same time, his body isn’t holding up to the physical pounding.

If Gronkowski does have back surgery next week, in addition to fixing his arm, it will be his sixth time going under the knife since early 2012. At some point, all of these injuries and subsequent surgeries will catch up to Gronkowski.

It may not be noticeable now in Years 1-4, but Gronkowski doesn’t appear to be the type of player the Patriots can expect to stay healthy and perform at a high level for a decade or more.

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I am starting to hope news will come out that Gronk will miss the whole year, then I will try and get him super cheap everywhere. Some dynasty people go crazy if a guy misses the 1st game of the year, and some basically give guys away who are out for the year. I will be a happy taker there.

This is crazy talk. Guys that miss an entire season due to an uncontrollable infection or a back injury typically don't end up coming back. Ever. If he misses this entire upcoming season due to his current injuries, the odds are VERY high he'll never play again.
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My rookie draft just started this morning, and Gronk was moved during it for Crabtree, Vic Ballard & the 1.09 (team took Eifert, pick was up when trade was made). No one seems to be up in arms about it, in fact one team mentioned on the chat that he thought the team getting Gronk was taking all the risk.I think it was pretty fair considering the circumstances.

I prefer the Ballard, Crabtree, Eifert side.
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I am starting to hope news will come out that Gronk will miss the whole year, then I will try and get him super cheap everywhere. Some dynasty people go crazy if a guy misses the 1st game of the year, and some basically give guys away who are out for the year. I will be a happy taker there.

This is crazy talk. Guys that miss an entire season due to an uncontrollable infection or a back injury typically don't end up coming back. Ever. If he misses this entire upcoming season due to his current injuries, the odds are VERY high he'll never play again.

how many of them had an infection in their forearm? Probably none, no history tells us nothing there.

Also some talk that he cant be a stud for a decade......so??? How many people ever have been?? Not very many. I would trade a decent amount for 3 stud years easily.

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Some (tentatively) good news...

Doctors feel confident that the infection has been eradicated, but they won't know for sure until they take tests during the procedure and then examine those over the next week.

Us Gronk owners will take what we can get, and tentative is something, at least.

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I'll update last week's article on Gronkowski after we get more details on his surgery today, but thought those who aren't following on Twitter might be interested in a some thoughts from earlier today...
@JeneBramel Working on background for reaction article after Gronkowski's surgery today. Details from print media aren't explicit on today's plan.
@JeneBramel Been working under assumption that Gronk would have plate replaced immediately if no signs of infection based on most media reports.
@JeneBramel I didn't question that assumption, thinking medical team access to advanced pathology tech, direct visualization enough to make decision.
@JeneBramel Both Mike Reiss/Karen Guregian noted use of cultures this weekend to assist decision. Positive culture may be known in 24 hours, but...
@JeneBramel ...negative culture wouldn't be assured until 48 hours and potentially longer.
@JeneBramel Been difficult to find a hard number for reliability of advanced/immediate PCR diagnosis of plate infection.
@JeneBramel Still waiting to hear from a few orthopedic surgeon contacts as well. But the upshot is this...
@JeneBramel If Gronk's surgeons choose to rely more heavily on cultures, Gronk's plate won't be replaced today even if no visual evidence of infection.
@JeneBramel That's my long way of saying we may not get a truly definitive line on Gronk today after all.
@JeneBramel Many writers, many sources in usu tight-lipped environment, frequently changing situation make details tough to follow w/ Gronkowski.
@JeneBramel RT @bill_weiss Tough call, fixation now vs delay, in convoluted setting. No clear guidelines, many new (overly?) sensitive detection methods...
@JeneBramel Reasoned/experienced approach here MT @bill_weiss "Game time" decision by surgeon based on all available info, appearance of tissue in OR.
@JeneBramel Also worth noting that Gronk's impeding back surgery could make decision to await cultures for more definitive negative answer more likely
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Jene, am I following you (and all of this) right in that if we get reports the plate was replaced today it'd be considered (tentatively) very good news?

Yes, that would suggest that there's no concern for an active and ongoing infection. His surgeons will not want to risk putting a new plate into an uncertain environment.

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Gronks back surgery expected in 3-4 weeks. Keeping him out 8 weeks. Which is the week before opening day.

Seems more like about a month before week one to me.

Looking at calendar, its somewhere in between.

2-3 weeks before opening day. So hopefully no set backs or delays.

Edited by BigSteelThrill
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Medical guy on TV said back procedure was minor enough that it was the arm that would limit the recovery. Any word on whether the plate was inserted?

New plate was inserted as they determined already the infection was gone, as far as they can tell.Back procedure hasn't happened yet, they'll decide in about a month if its necessary of not.
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Good news. Hopefully the 'no infection' thing is confirmed in the next week or so. Seems like someone could make a fortune if they were able to develop anti-bacterial metal for use in medical procedures.

There are antibiotic coated titanium surgical implants in use. Bacteria are still sometimes able to protect themselves with a layer of slime unfortunately. Once that happens, there's no non-invasive way to get antibiotics to the area of infection.
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I am starting to hope news will come out that Gronk will miss the whole year, then I will try and get him super cheap everywhere. Some dynasty people go crazy if a guy misses the 1st game of the year, and some basically give guys away who are out for the year. I will be a happy taker there.

This is crazy talk. Guys that miss an entire season due to an uncontrollable infection or a back injury typically don't end up coming back. Ever. If he misses this entire upcoming season due to his current injuries, the odds are VERY high he'll never play again.

Dont you get it yet??? Offseason news CRAZILY drives players values way out of wack. A couple months ago people wouldnt trade Gronk for 10 1st rounders, now they are happy to get like 3 1st rounders.

yet, he might or might not miss a couple games. I mean, it's insanity, but unfortunately the leagues I play in have owners who are too smart to sell low for now legitimate reason.

Lets say for example there is news Gronk "might" miss like 3-4 weeks after his back surgery. People will start selling him assuming that he will miss those games. but why??? Whats the hurry to trade a guy if you are going to ASSUME the worst, and get that assumed value back in return?? It's insanity.

So I see his infection is gone. Now he will have his back surgery and likely be full go come week 1, and all these people that sold him for half price are gonna feel pretty stupid when they could have just waited to see if he would actually miss time, and even if he WAS gonna miss time, they would get the same price they got when they sold for half.

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Good news. Hopefully the 'no infection' thing is confirmed in the next week or so. Seems like someone could make a fortune if they were able to develop anti-bacterial metal for use in medical procedures.

There are antibiotic coated titanium surgical implants in use. Bacteria are still sometimes able to protect themselves with a layer of slime unfortunately. Once that happens, there's no non-invasive way to get antibiotics to the area of infection.

After I posted it I looked it up and saw people were doing it. If only I'd finished that 2nd semester of Organic Chem!

IYO is this really the all clear Dr. Bramel? Or is it possible they rolled the dice and inserted the plate without 100% confirmation since he'd miss the start of the season anyway if the infection came back?

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IYO is this really the all clear Dr. Bramel? Or is it possible they rolled the dice and inserted the plate without 100% confirmation since he'd miss the start of the season anyway if the infection came back?

I don't think it's an absolute all clear until the cultures are confirmed negative. But I don't believe they'd risk learning that they put a new plate into a dirty location. There's also a chance, though unlikely, that he could have another infection later even if this one has fully cleared now.
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IYO is this really the all clear Dr. Bramel? Or is it possible they rolled the dice and inserted the plate without 100% confirmation since he'd miss the start of the season anyway if the infection came back?

I don't think it's an absolute all clear until the cultures are confirmed negative. But I don't believe they'd risk learning that they put a new plate into a dirty location. There's also a chance, though unlikely, that he could have another infection later even if this one has fully cleared now.

That's what I've been telling people too. It's not a guarantee that the infection is clear until the cultures come back negative which takes about 72 hours from my experience. By visual examination the tissue likley didn't look infected, but there is really no way to be sure.

Don't be at all surprised if the infection comes back in a few weeks.......I'm not completely sold. I have a hard time believing they were able to clear the infection without removing the plate first....since it's tough for antibiotics to work around artificial hardware.

Edited by Carl Eller's Dead Liver
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Dont you get it yet??? Offseason news CRAZILY drives players values way out of wack. A couple months ago people wouldnt trade Gronk for 10 1st rounders, now they are happy to get like 3 1st rounders.

yet, he might or might not miss a couple games. I mean, it's insanity, but unfortunately the leagues I play in have owners who are too smart to sell low for now legitimate reason.

Lets say for example there is news Gronk "might" miss like 3-4 weeks after his back surgery. People will start selling him assuming that he will miss those games. but why??? Whats the hurry to trade a guy if you are going to ASSUME the worst, and get that assumed value back in return?? It's insanity.

So I see his infection is gone. Now he will have his back surgery and likely be full go come week 1, and all these people that sold him for half price are gonna feel pretty stupid when they could have just waited to see if he would actually miss time, and even if he WAS gonna miss time, they would get the same price they got when they sold for half.

You act as if the worst case scenario is that he just misses a few games.

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Dont you get it yet??? Offseason news CRAZILY drives players values way out of wack. A couple months ago people wouldnt trade Gronk for 10 1st rounders, now they are happy to get like 3 1st rounders.

yet, he might or might not miss a couple games. I mean, it's insanity, but unfortunately the leagues I play in have owners who are too smart to sell low for now legitimate reason.

Lets say for example there is news Gronk "might" miss like 3-4 weeks after his back surgery. People will start selling him assuming that he will miss those games. but why??? Whats the hurry to trade a guy if you are going to ASSUME the worst, and get that assumed value back in return?? It's insanity.

So I see his infection is gone. Now he will have his back surgery and likely be full go come week 1, and all these people that sold him for half price are gonna feel pretty stupid when they could have just waited to see if he would actually miss time, and even if he WAS gonna miss time, they would get the same price they got when they sold for half.

You act as if the worst case scenario is that he just misses a few games.

If the worst case scenario was worse than that, then every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games.

A lot would have to happen for that "worst case scenario" of missing more than a few games, so much that I dont see it as any more risky than any other player in the league getting some kind of serious injury that keeps them out for an extended period of time.

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Good news. Hopefully the 'no infection' thing is confirmed in the next week or so.

Seems like someone could make a fortune if they were able to develop anti-bacterial metal for use in medical procedures.

There are antibiotic coated titanium surgical implants in use. Bacteria are still sometimes able to protect themselves with a layer of slime unfortunately. Once that happens, there's no non-invasive way to get antibiotics to the area of infection.

After I posted it I looked it up and saw people were doing it. If only I'd finished that 2nd semester of Organic Chem!

IYO is this really the all clear Dr. Bramel? Or is it possible they rolled the dice and inserted the plate without 100% confirmation since he'd miss the start of the season anyway if the infection came back?

Relax, Gronk will be fine.

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IYO is this really the all clear Dr. Bramel? Or is it possible they rolled the dice and inserted the plate without 100% confirmation since he'd miss the start of the season anyway if the infection came back?

I don't think it's an absolute all clear until the cultures are confirmed negative. But I don't believe they'd risk learning that they put a new plate into a dirty location. There's also a chance, though unlikely, that he could have another infection later even if this one has fully cleared now.

That's what I've been telling people too. It's not a guarantee that the infection is clear until the cultures come back negative which takes about 72 hours from my experience. By visual examination the tissue likley didn't look infected, but there is really no way to be sure.

Don't be at all surprised if the infection comes back in a few weeks.......I'm not completely sold. I have a hard time believing they were able to clear the infection without removing the plate first....since it's tough for antibiotics to work around artificial hardware.

That was my first line of thinking earlier today, too.

I think it's reasonable to remain skeptical, but I'm being told by my orthopedic contacts late this evening that there are instances where cultures are positive after negative intraoperative testing (bacterial stains, PCR, cell counts, etc.), but that outcome is generally considered unlikely.

To be clear, that's in cases similar to Gronkowski's but not this case specifically.

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Dont you get it yet??? Offseason news CRAZILY drives players values way out of wack. A couple months ago people wouldnt trade Gronk for 10 1st rounders, now they are happy to get like 3 1st rounders.

yet, he might or might not miss a couple games. I mean, it's insanity, but unfortunately the leagues I play in have owners who are too smart to sell low for now legitimate reason.

Lets say for example there is news Gronk "might" miss like 3-4 weeks after his back surgery. People will start selling him assuming that he will miss those games. but why??? Whats the hurry to trade a guy if you are going to ASSUME the worst, and get that assumed value back in return?? It's insanity.

So I see his infection is gone. Now he will have his back surgery and likely be full go come week 1, and all these people that sold him for half price are gonna feel pretty stupid when they could have just waited to see if he would actually miss time, and even if he WAS gonna miss time, they would get the same price they got when they sold for half.

You act as if the worst case scenario is that he just misses a few games.

If the worst case scenario was worse than that, then every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games.

A lot would have to happen for that "worst case scenario" of missing more than a few games, so much that I dont see it as any more risky than any other player in the league getting some kind of serious injury that keeps them out for an extended period of time.

Every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games. Sorry, but you're blind IMO if you don't think he has any more risk than any other player in the league.

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IYO is this really the all clear Dr. Bramel? Or is it possible they rolled the dice and inserted the plate without 100% confirmation since he'd miss the start of the season anyway if the infection came back?

I don't think it's an absolute all clear until the cultures are confirmed negative. But I don't believe they'd risk learning that they put a new plate into a dirty location. There's also a chance, though unlikely, that he could have another infection later even if this one has fully cleared now.

That's what I've been telling people too. It's not a guarantee that the infection is clear until the cultures come back negative which takes about 72 hours from my experience. By visual examination the tissue likley didn't look infected, but there is really no way to be sure.

Don't be at all surprised if the infection comes back in a few weeks.......I'm not completely sold. I have a hard time believing they were able to clear the infection without removing the plate first....since it's tough for antibiotics to work around artificial hardware.

That was my first line of thinking earlier today, too.

I think it's reasonable to remain skeptical, but I'm being told by my orthopedic contacts late this evening that there are instances where cultures are positive after negative intraoperative testing (bacterial stains, PCR, cell counts, etc.), but that outcome is generally considered unlikely.

To be clear, that's in cases similar to Gronkowski's but not this case specifically.

Thanks Jene!

My other comment would be that there has to be some risk, although not extremely high, of osteomyelitis (bone infection) in the setting of a fracture + tissue infection. Osteomyelitis can sometimes present many months after an intial injury/infeciton occurs. Osteomyelitis is also very difficult to treat and requires long standing antibiotics for several months. Gronkowski already had a long course of antibiotics so hopefully this will be enough to reduce his risk to near zero....but again I question this with the plate in place during his antibiotic course.

Just food for thought.

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Dont you get it yet??? Offseason news CRAZILY drives players values way out of wack. A couple months ago people wouldnt trade Gronk for 10 1st rounders, now they are happy to get like 3 1st rounders.

yet, he might or might not miss a couple games. I mean, it's insanity, but unfortunately the leagues I play in have owners who are too smart to sell low for now legitimate reason.

Lets say for example there is news Gronk "might" miss like 3-4 weeks after his back surgery. People will start selling him assuming that he will miss those games. but why??? Whats the hurry to trade a guy if you are going to ASSUME the worst, and get that assumed value back in return?? It's insanity.

So I see his infection is gone. Now he will have his back surgery and likely be full go come week 1, and all these people that sold him for half price are gonna feel pretty stupid when they could have just waited to see if he would actually miss time, and even if he WAS gonna miss time, they would get the same price they got when they sold for half.

You act as if the worst case scenario is that he just misses a few games.

If the worst case scenario was worse than that, then every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games.

A lot would have to happen for that "worst case scenario" of missing more than a few games, so much that I dont see it as any more risky than any other player in the league getting some kind of serious injury that keeps them out for an extended period of time.

Every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games. Sorry, but you're blind IMO if you don't think he has any more risk than any other player in the league.

I don't, so I guess I am blind. But in order to miss "more than a few games" this year, he either needs to get injured again or have some seriously unlikely things happen with his current injury.

So no, I don't peg him as being any more likely to miss "most" of this season than anyone else.

But I sure as hell will be making offers to owners hoping they think like you.

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Dont you get it yet??? Offseason news CRAZILY drives players values way out of wack. A couple months ago people wouldnt trade Gronk for 10 1st rounders, now they are happy to get like 3 1st rounders.

yet, he might or might not miss a couple games. I mean, it's insanity, but unfortunately the leagues I play in have owners who are too smart to sell low for now legitimate reason.

Lets say for example there is news Gronk "might" miss like 3-4 weeks after his back surgery. People will start selling him assuming that he will miss those games. but why??? Whats the hurry to trade a guy if you are going to ASSUME the worst, and get that assumed value back in return?? It's insanity.

So I see his infection is gone. Now he will have his back surgery and likely be full go come week 1, and all these people that sold him for half price are gonna feel pretty stupid when they could have just waited to see if he would actually miss time, and even if he WAS gonna miss time, they would get the same price they got when they sold for half.

You act as if the worst case scenario is that he just misses a few games.

If the worst case scenario was worse than that, then every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games.

A lot would have to happen for that "worst case scenario" of missing more than a few games, so much that I dont see it as any more risky than any other player in the league getting some kind of serious injury that keeps them out for an extended period of time.

Every other player in the league is in danger of missing more than a few games. Sorry, but you're blind IMO if you don't think he has any more risk than any other player in the league.

I don't, so I guess I am blind. But in order to miss "more than a few games" this year, he either needs to get injured again or have some seriously unlikely things happen with his current injury.

So no, I don't peg him as being any more likely to miss "most" of this season than anyone else.

But I sure as hell will be making offers to owners hoping they think like you.

It's current injuries, not injury. One has had 4 surgeries, which we still don't know if he's out of the woods with, and the other caused him to miss an entire season in college. You're also leaving out the possibility that he doesn't miss many games, but one or both injuries cause him to be less than 100%.

Unless every other player in the league is dealing with similar issues, it makes zero sense to think he has no more risk than anyone else. You honestly think there is no chance these things impact his career at all?

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Lost in all of this talk about whether he can be healthy by opening day is that he is not able to do his normal training during the offseason, so even if his forearm and back are okay by the start of the season, he could have lost a ton of strength and power, and that is not even bringing up the fact that he won't be in football shape right away (assuming training camp and preseason are both goners). In other words, his chances of having a big 2013 are not very high, IMO.

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Lost in all of this talk about whether he can be healthy by opening day is that he is not able to do his normal training during the offseason, so even if his forearm and back are okay by the start of the season, he could have lost a ton of strength and power, and that is not even bringing up the fact that he won't be in football shape right away (assuming training camp and preseason are both goners). In other words, his chances of having a big 2013 are not very high, IMO.

Dude, he's The Gronk.

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osteomyelitis (bone infection) in the setting of a fracture + tissue infection. Osteomyelitis can sometimes present many months after an intial injury/infeciton occurs.

Since it's been six months since the initial injury and three(?) since the initial infection are the chances of osteomyelitis reduced? Presumably there was no sign of it yesterday or they wouldn't have placed the plate.

IOW, if he was going to have a bone infection how likely is it that it would have already presented given the elapsed times here? Does the fact that it hasn't shown up so far make it less likely? Or are the lag times typically longer than this?

Edited by wdcrob
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My other comment would be that there has to be some risk, although not extremely high, of osteomyelitis (bone infection) in the setting of a fracture + tissue infection. Osteomyelitis can sometimes present many months after an intial injury/infeciton occurs. Osteomyelitis is also very difficult to treat and requires long standing antibiotics for several months. Gronkowski already had a long course of antibiotics so hopefully this will be enough to reduce his risk to near zero....but again I question this with the plate in place during his antibiotic course.

Just food for thought.

Great point.

The fact that they've treated with multiple courses of antibiotics strongly suggests they were nervous about a bone infection. It's also worth wondering why they felt the need to implant new hardware four months after the last revision if bone healing hadn't been affected by the surrounding infection. I think the answer to that question is that full bone remodeling won't occur for many months and the plate will provide extra stabilization during this coming season, but the question is valid.

In the end, I think we have to take the decision to replace the plate (in a high profile, elite athlete) at face value. I don't think the plate would have been replaced if there was any real concern for an ongoing tissue or bone infection.

But we'll see. It wouldn't be the first time we were misled on an injury. :)

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IOW, if he was going to have a bone infection how likely is it that it would have already presented given the elapsed times here? Does the fact that it hasn't shown up so far make it less likely? Or are the lag times typically longer than this?

Bone infections are insidious. They can be difficult to diagnose early in the infectious process without a high level of suspicion and specialized imaging. Once the infection has progressed to the point of bone loss, it becomes much easier to suspect clinically and you can see the changes on a plain x-ray.

Gronk's situation appears to have been a soft tissue infection likely complicated by the hardware itself getting colonized with bacteria. That's my speculation, of course, but seems likely from the reports we've seen from the New England media. Whether he ever had the beginnings of a bone infection or they were aggressively treating to prevent one while trying to keep the plate in as long as possible is an open question.

And I think the point made by Ghost Rider is valid. There will be atrophy of the muscle in his injured arm, possibly made worse due to an infection in the same area. If all goes well over the next month -- no residual infection, no new infection, bone stabilizes around the plate -- he should have 2-3 months before the season to rebuild the strength in his arm. It's unlikely he'll be at full strength by opening weekend, but there's a good argument (acknowledging that defeating jams and gaining separation could be more difficult) that he won't need a 100% recovery to be effective as a receiver.

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  • bicycle_seat_sniffer changed the title to ***** OFFICIAL Rob Gronkowski - RETIRED *****
  • Joe Bryant changed the title to TE Rob Gronkowski, TB - 10/2/21 Out For Week 4

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