Patriots cut Dan Gronkowski

Updated: September 24, 2011, 12:31 AM ET
By Mike Reiss |

The New England Patriots are back to only one Gronkowski brother.

The team announced on Friday that it has released tight end Dan Gronkowski, whose brother Rob Gronkowski is the starting tight end.

Dan Gronkowski had been on the injury report this week with a hamstring injury, and the move could be a case of the team needing to create roster space and doing so with an injured player who wouldn't have been part of the 46-man game-day roster.

With Dan Gronkowski released and Aaron Hernandez ruled out for the game with a knee injury, the Patriots have just one tight end available Sunday -- Rob Gronkowski. This opens the possibility that Garrett Mills could be promoted off the practice squad.

Gronkowski had been signed by the Patriots on Sept. 7. He played in the first two games of the season, primarily in a blocking role.

Dan Gronkowski is Rob's older brother and one of three Gronkowski brothers to have played in the NFL. Chris Gronkowski was cut by the Cowboys and claimed by the Colts this season. Dan Gronkowski was previously released by the Broncos.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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