Rob Gronkowski-Julian Edelman combo has been elusive for Patriots

The last time the New England Patriots had tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Julian Edelman on the field together for a regular-season game was Nov. 27, 2016. That’s a stretch of 31 games — almost two full football seasons, when including the playoffs.nfl cheap jerseys nike

The hope was that quarterback Tom Brady’s two go-to-guys would be teaming up again Thursday night at home against the Indianapolis Colts, with Edelman’s return from a four-game NFL suspension.

But those plans might be on hold.12

Gronkowski was held out of the team’s walk-through on Tuesday, as the club determined that staying off his injured ankle was a better course of action than having him go through a light practice session that features more mental-based effort than physical work. Edelman, meanwhile, looked like he had a little extra hop in his step in his first official practice since returning to the club on Monday.

“Obviously, it’s amazing. Great to have him back, because it’s another body for us, and it’s a great one — he’s Julian Edelman. He’s the leader of our room. We needed him back,” Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett said. “Not having Gronk out there sometimes … when Gronk does come back, we’re going to be hard to deal with because that’s a lot of bodies thrown at you.”

Because Edelman missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL and Gronkowski’s 2016 season ended after he tweaked his back early in a late-November victory over the New York Jets, Brady and the Patriots have grown used to not having them both in action at the same time. Not that Brady likes it.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Also, receiver Chris Hogan’s production has been down through the first quarter of the season, as he has been thrust into a leading role at receiver without Edelman. Similar to Allen, that’s asking a lot of a player in Hogan who has previously been more of a secondary option.

So when Gronkowski and Edelman are on the field together, it’s almost like the pieces of a puzzle nicely fitting together.

It has been a long time since that happened, and with Gronkowski sidelined from practice, it could be even a little bit longer.