Published January 27, 2012
| Associated Press
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Rob Gronkowski's playing status for the Super Bowl was listed as questionable on Friday after the star tight end missed the New England Patriots practice for the second straight day with an injured left ankle.
Twelve other players also were listed as questionable but participated in practice on a limited basis. That could change since more than a week remains before the game against the New York Giants on Feb. 5.
WIVB-TV in Buffalo reported that Gronkowski's father, Gordy Gronkowski, said he has a high ankle sprain. Rob Gronkowski attended Williamsville North High School in the Buffalo area. The station said his father expects him to be fine for the Super Bowl.
The Patriots have not disclosed the extent of the injury, and coach Bill Belichick rarely provides details on injuries.
"He must not have read the sign on the door" near the locker room, wide receiver Matthew Slater said with a smile of Gronkowski's father. "We've got to get him caught up to speed on that. We're not supposed to disclose that kind of stuff."
And Belichick's reaction to the father's revelation?
"Oh, man, I don't know," Slater said. "I would imagine he wouldn't be too excited about that."
For the second straight day, Gronkowski was not in the locker room during the period when media were allowed in.
Gronkowski, whose 17 touchdown catches set an NFL single-season record for tight ends, was injured late in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-20 AFC championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Asked if he had any doubt that Gronkowski would play in the Super Bowl, Slater had a one word answer: "No."
But what if he doesn't play?
"We can't really worry about that," Slater said. "He's a special young man and there's not too many guys tougher than him out there. So I would imagine he's going to do everything he can to be out there."
Gronkowski was the only player who missed practice.
Those who participated on a limited basis were wide receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch (knee injuries), offensive tackles Sebastian Vollmer (back and foot) and Marcus Cannon (ankle), offensive guard Logan Mankins (knee), defensive lineman Kyle Love (ankle), linebackers Rob Ninkovich (hip), Brandon Spikes (knee), Dane Fletcher (thumb), and Tracy White (abdomen), and safeties Patrick Chung (knee) and James Ihedigbo (shoulder).