The 49ers and Patriots will provide official practice participation reports later today, but until then, we have some speculation related to the Patriots report. According to a Patriots beat writer, tight end Rob Gronkowski will attempt to practice this week.
Gronk fractured his left forearm on November 18 (Week 11) against the Indianapolis Colts and has been sidelined ever since. The Patriots have been tight-lipped about his timetable for return, but speculation has centered around four to eight weeks. If he were able to play this Sunday, that would place him just below the bottom end of that timetable.
I would imagine the odds are pretty slim for him returning, but it would not surprise me if Bill Belichick got him some individual work so he could list him as limited on the injury report later today. Belichick is a guy who enjoys listing half his time as questionable, so that remains a possibility. If I had to guess, I would see Gronkowski limited this week and then listed as doubtful, leaving the 49ers in a position to do some measure of preparation for him, even if it is only a little bit.
That sounds a little like a coach we know!