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Despite limited reps, Rob Gronkowski got what he needed vs. Panthers

Ryan Hannable
August 25, 2018 - 12:48 am

CHARLOTTE -- While two series and unofficially 16 snaps isn't much, it was just what Rob Gronkowski needed to get himself ready for the regular season.

Historically, Gronkowski doesn't play at all in the preseason (he played Weeks 2 and 3 last year), but Friday night he was on the field with his teammates for a brief portion of the 25-14 loss to the Panthers. 

Even though he was targeted just once and didn't record a catch, he accomplished what he needed to.

“It definitely felt good just to get out there and get your feet wet, get some plays in," Gronkowski said afterwards. "We had a nice drive. It felt good.”

The tight end was referring to the second offensive drive of the game when the Patriots went 77 yards in 14 plays and was capped by a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. It could have ended in more, as Gronkowski got free in the end zone on the third-and-goal play from the 8-yard line, but Tom Brady couldn't find him.

“I did pop open, but with the pass rush going on and where Tom was looking, I got open and the play developed late so it just didn’t come my way. But, all good," he said.

The next time Gronkowski appears in a game should be Week 1 against the Texans, so while it was a pretty uneventful, it was just what he needed.

Related: Bill Belichick not pleased following loss to Panthers