The New England Patriots still have not cleared tight end Rob Gronkowski to play, despite optimism earlier in the week that he could return this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Dr. James Andrews, whom the Patriots hired as an independent physician, did not give Gronkowski clearance to play as of Friday, according to multiple media reports.
Gronkowski has been practicing for several weeks while recovering from multiple back and forearm surgeries, but has not played this season. Andrews did not operate on Gronkowski.
Dr. Jesse Jupiter, who performed Gronkowski’s most recent forearm surgery, has also not cleared him to play, according to ESPN.
When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Friday about his confidence in the team’s medical staff, he said, “As it relates to our medical people, we have confidence in all of them. They do a good job.”
Gronkowski said Thursday his status is still day-to-day. He practiced on a limited basis.
“It’s basically nothing new,” he said. “I mean, I’m just working hard every week, working hard out at practice, and nothing’s changed, we’re day by day, like we’ve been from the very beginning.”