Rob Gronkowski does not make trip to Chicago with Patriots

Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the team prior to Sunday's game against the Bears. –Stew Milne / AP Photo

CHICAGO — Tight end Rob Gronkowski did not make the trip to Chicago with the Patriots but has not yet been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Bears, a league source told the Globe.

Gronkowski was downgraded to doubtful for the game Saturday night.

Gronkowski has a back injury that was added to the Patriots injury report on Friday. He also has been dealing with an ankle injury since Week 3.

Gronkowski could make the flight separately and try to play, but because he didn’t travel with the team makes it doubtful he’ll be ready to go Sunday afternoon.

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Gronkowski has started all six games for the Patriots this season. He has caught 26 of 35 passes thrown his way for 405 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers aren’t especially prolific by his high standards, but Gronkowski’s importance to the offense was evident when Tom Brady went his way in the final, critical moments of the Chiefs game last Sunday.

Three players were ruled out of Sunday’s game Saturday night. Defensive ends Geneo Grissom and John Simon and tight end Jacob Hollister. Without Hollister, and possibly Gronkowski, tight end Dwayne Allen could see a bigger role.