Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did not travel to Atlanta for tonight's game, espn.com reported Saturday.
But the team and Gronkowski disagree over his availability, the Boston Herald reported. The Patriots, the newspaper reported, believe he is healthy enough to make his season debut after offseason surgeries on his back and forearm; Gronkowski and his advisers are wary about returning too soon.
Last season, Gronkowski missed time due to a broken forearm, returned for the division playoff game against the Texans and rebroke it.
The divide isn't new, the Herald reported. During training camp, it reported, the Patriots believed Gronkowski could be ready by Week 2, but Gronkowski eyed a return closer to Week 6. Multiple times he has told reporters his return must be cleared by the team, its medical staff and himself. And he stressed being physically ready to absorb contact throughout a game.
Gronkowski has run, caught passes, taken hits and been tackled during practices over the past two weeks, espn.com reported. He was listed as doubtful for the first two games of the season but upgraded to questionable for last week and tonight.
More Patriots: Receiver Danny Amendola will sit with a sore groin tonight, espn.com reported.
Bears: Cornerback Charles Tillman, listed as questionable with knee and groin injuries, will play today, the NFL Network reported.
Dolphins: Defensive end Cameron Wake, Miami's top pass-rusher, was listed as questionable for Monday with a sprained knee ligament.