Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game vs. Patriots

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Oct. 1 (UPI) — Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Friday that star tight end Rob Gronkowski will be a game-time decision for Sunday night’s showdown against the New England Patriots.

Gronkowski, who has been dealing with a rib injury this week, was listed as doubtful on the Buccaneers’ final injury report.

Arians also said that outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (hand, shoulder) will be a game-time decision to suit up against the Patriots on Sunday. He was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

Gronkowski was seen at practice Friday, but he didn’t participate for a third consecutive day. Pierre-Paul, meanwhile, practiced for the first time since Sept. 15.

The 32-year-old Gronkowski has been one of the Buccaneers’ top weapons in the red zone this season. He has racked up 16 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns through three games in the 2021 NFL campaign.

Pierre-Paul has served as one of the Bucs’ emotional leaders on defense. He has notched nine total tackles and a pass breakup in two games this season.

The Buccaneers also listed veteran running back Giovani Bernard (knee) and starting cornerback Jamel Dean (knee) as out for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Richard Sherman, who signed with the franchise earlier this week, will be active.

“We’ll have him up just in case,” Arians said of Sherman, who previously noted that he would need about a week to familiarize himself with the Buccaneers’ defensive system.

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