Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski uncertain for Week 17
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Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski uncertain for Week 17

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will probably bench Tom Brady before he gives the media any clue on the status of his injured players prior to game day. He has listed 20 players as questionable to play Sunday against the Dolphins. Some of those players -- Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez -- are at no risk of sitting out. But tight end Rob Gronkowski @RobGronkowski is probably on the outside looking in. He hasn't played since Week 11 due to his fractured forearm and although he practiced in limited fashion all week yet again, Gronkowski has yet to be cleared for game action.

Fantasy Analysis:

That clearance could come over the course of the weekend, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of positive buzz surrounding Gronk's chances of suiting up. The Pats had wanted to get him back prior to the playoffs, but now they will most likely play it safe. Despite the fact that he has missed five and maybe six games, Gronk is still tops among tight ends in touchdowns and has the third-most fantasy points at that position. There is no doubt that he is the No. 1 TE for 2013. But as discussed on Thursday's FFToolbox podcast, I would not take Gronkowski until at least late in the second round. Host and FFToolbox writer George Bissell said Gronk would in be in his overall top 10.

CBS Boston

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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