Patriots coach Bill Belichick wasn't quite ready to evaluate the status or availiablity of tight end Rob Gronkowski for the team's matchup against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
Gronkowski injured his left ankle at the end of the third quarter of Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium. Gronkowski had just made a 23-yard catch when he was tackled by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, who rolled up on Gronkowski's left ankle, causing it to buckle awkwardly.
Asked during a teleconference today with reporters if had any concerns about Gronkowski's ability to play at a high level in the Super Bowl, Belichick replied, "We'll see how it goes with Rob and some of the other players who are getting treatment.''
The Patriots did not practice today and will take Wednesday off before returning to the practice field Thursday to begin Super Bowl preparations.
" We'll see how it is when we get back on the field,'' Belichick said. "We'll see how all of that is when it's time to go. As you know, it's hard to gauge injuries. We've seen some of the biggest hits in the game and seen guys get up and go back to the huddle like it wasn't a big thing.
"Then you've seen other plays that look like a lot less, or with less of an impact, but because of the angle or the way that it happened, or whatever caused the problem, it's more serious,'' Belichick said, when asked if he felt fortunate Gronkowski's injury wasn't more serious. "I just don't know how to comment on that. You've seen plays where it looked like somebody was slow getting up off that and you've seen other plays where it didn't look like it should be that big of a problem and players have some type of injury, so it's hard to rank them that way.
"We've got a lot of tough players on our team and everbody is going to do all they can to be ready physically and mentally, especially physically, to try and compete in the game.''