Rob Gronkowski woke up to find his left forearm, operated on three times since November, was swollen and leaking. An infection, contracted sometime after his second surgery, has not cleared up as expected. An immediate cross-country flight back to Boston and a medical examination later, and now there's legitimate fear Gronkowski won't be ready for opening week.
Gronkowski broke his arm in November, and then again in January. We fretted that the healing process wasn't going to be as simple as the Patriots made it seem, and we were right—for the wrong reasons. Gronkowski had a metal plate installed to set the break, but somewhere along the line the wound got infected. No one would say what it was, but the mind immediately jumped to a staph infection, a relatively common post-op complication that can force a player to restart the rehab clock. (Tom Brady knows all about it.)