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When the New England Patriots left for Virginia for their joint practice with the Washington Redskins, they left one of their top stars at home. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is not joining the team on the trip as a precautionary measure.
Gronkowski is returning from a torn ACL, which ended his 2013 campaign. So far in training camp, the Patriots have been working Gornkowski out with individual and one-on-one drills as a way of preventing him from getting too physical and aggravating the injury, reports NFL.com.
Last season, before getting injured, he played in seven games, making 39 catches, picking up 592 yards and scoring four touchdowns.
Gronkowski’s 2012 season was also cut short due to injury. In 11 games that year, he racked up 55 catches, 790 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In 2011, he played in all 16 games and set the record for the most receiving yards and touchdowns in a season by a tight end with 1,327 yards and 17 scores on 90 catches, according to pro-football-reference.com.
Given the numbers that he has produced over his four years in the NFL, there is no doubt that the Patriots want to make sure that Gronkowski is fully ready for the 2014 season.
The Patriots and the Redskins will open up their preseason slate of games when they square off against each other on Thursday night.