Bed check: All starts with Gronk


INDIANAPOLIS -- Capping off the night with the three biggest takeaways from the Patriots' third day in town for Super Bowl XLVI:

1. No boot for Gronkowski. Tight end Rob Gronkowski said that he stopped wearing a walking boot over his left foot for a high ankle sprain on Monday. He also said he has no plans to wear the boot again. Gronkowski drew significant attention as Tuesday marked the first chance that media members could talk to him since the injury Jan. 22, and he had reporters laughing. Gronkowski is hopeful he'll play Sunday and acknowledged that there is a difference when preparing health-wise for a Super Bowl compared to a regular-season game.

2. Vollmer expected to play. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told WEEI.com that starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is expected to play Sunday, which could be a key toward balancing out the attack. With Vollmer available, the possibility opens to use rookie Nate Solder as a third tight end. In the Nov. 6 meeting between the Patriots and Giants -- a 24-20 Giants win -- Solder played a season-high total of 23 snaps at tight end. So Vollmer's return comes at a good time for the Patriots.

3. Embracing Media Day. The Patriots went through their Media Day obligations and, extending the theme of the first two days, the mood was generally light. A lot of smiles. There were 18 podiums set up, most given to the top players, and receiver Chad Ochocinco did not occupy one of them. That reflects how Ochocinco (15 receptions) hasn't made big-time contributions to the team, although the media crowd around him still was one of the biggest of the day. More than 45 minutes before Media Day started, reporters were gathered around Gronkowski's podium. Gronkowski was the story. Meanwhile, offensive linemen Vollmer and Matt Light were absent with an illness, while assistant coach Josh McDaniels was not made available.