There are several storylines surrounding Week Seven of the 2013 NFL regular season, but the injury status of some notable names might be the most intriguing.
Reporters have hounded New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick over the availability of Rob Gronkowski in recent weeks, and his status for this Sunday has drawn particular attention. The two-time Pro Bowl tight end has been inactive for the entire season after back and forearm surgeries, but that may come to an end when the Patriots visit MetLife Stadium to play the New York Jets.
Gronkowski has been listed as “day-to-day,” but has gone through practices this week with the intention of playing, and has even been tackled by teammates, according to ESPN.
On “The Joe Rose Show” on 560 WQAM in Miami, Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said that the 24-year-old’s status depends on whether he is cleared by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrew.
"Up to this point, he hasn't been cleared to play in a game," Rosenhaus said. "He has not been cleared by Dr. Andrews, who is the supervising doctor."
The status of teammate Danny Amendola appears more grim. The wide receiver suffered a concussion on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, and did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Like Gronkowski, Michael Vick remains limited, with his status for Sunday still uncertain. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback suffered a pulled hamstring against the New York Giants, but could see action against the Dallas Cowboys in a game that will decide who leads the NFC East.
“Mike took some seven-on-seven snaps yesterday, but we’ll see how he is today,” head coach Chip Kelly said, according to the team’s official website. “They lifted yesterday and they don’t lift today so once we get through the first couple periods here of running around, we’ll see how he feels.”
A quarterback who will certainly be inactive this week is EJ Manuel. The Buffalo Bills rookie will be out for another four to six weeks with a knee injury. Manuel hurt his knee on Oct. 3 against the Cleveland Browns, and initially was expected to miss just a few weeks.
Meanwhile, there is good news for Calvin Johnson. The Detroit Lions superstar wide receiver participated in three straight practices this week after experiencing soreness in his right knee. Johnson was listed as “limited,” but appearing in consecutive practices and not experiencing any setbacks in individual drills is an encouraging sign for his availability on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
An IB Times staff reporter contributed to this report.