It will be another week without tight end Rob Gronkowski for the Buccaneers, as he has been announced as out against the Dolphins on Sunday, per Greg Auman of The Athletic.
Gronkowski suffered broken ribs and a partially punctured lung during Week 3 against the Rams and was unable to make his return to Foxboro last Sunday against the Patriots. His absence was felt in Tampa Bay’s offense, particularly in the red zone. The Buccaneers went just 1-of-4 in the final 20, settling for three field goals from kicker Ryan Succop instead.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) after Gronkowski caught a 2-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
Gronkowski had been the go-to target down there in the first two games, where he hauled in four touchdowns from quarterback Tom Brady. Neither Cameron Brate nor O.J. Howard could fill the void against New England, as they combined for just two receptions for 29 yards.
Sep 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Even with Gronkowski sidelined, Tampa Bay (3-1) opens as a 9.5-point favorite at home against Miami (1-3) at 1:00 p.m. on CBS, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) can’t hang on to a pass in the end zone in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
The injury bug has struck the defending Super Bowl Champions early, as Tampa Bay will be without key starters in Gronkowski, Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Antoine Winfield Jr. Giovani Bernard, Jason Pierre-Paul and Jamel Dean will hope to return against Miami after sitting out against the Patriots.