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ATLANTA – New England Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft responded to reports of a difference of opinion between the team and tight end Rob Gronkowski regarding his playing status for Sunday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"There is absolutely no disagreement between the team and Rob Gronkowski," Kraft said on his weekly pregame radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Kraft then explained that there are two things that need to happen before Patriots players return to the field -- they have to be medically cleared and they have to feel they are physically and psychologically ready to play. Part of that process, Kraft said, is players speaking with those closest to them.
In the wake of an initial Boston Herald report, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the situation goes beyond the Patriots' decision and to Gronkowski's circle of family, friends and advisers, who have not been as anxious as the rest of New England to have the tight end back on the field.
Specifying that he was speaking in general terms, and not specifically to Gronkowski, Kraft said: "With any player, they have to feel ready to step on the field. It's not a place to be if you don't feel you belong there."
"There is no dissension between Rob and the Patriots. … He'll come back when everything is right for him to come back."