The New England Patriots are currently shallow at tight end, with only three currently in their roster. In their 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots had two active tight ends in veteran Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson while Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse were both out with injuries. Two days ago, the Patriots cut Tomlinson to make room for the possible return of rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry when they face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9 on Sunday. The move also left the Patriots with Watson as the only possible tight end when against the Ravens as Izzo and LaCosse were both limited in Thursday’s practice due to concussion and knee injury, respectively.

The Patriots’ woes at the tight end began when veteran Rob Gronkowski retired in the offseason after a nine-year playing career in New England. There were reports that Gronkowski could drop his current work as a Fox NFL analyst and return to the Patriots and help his former squad in their playoff push. However, Gronkowski clarified in an interview with John Kryk of the Toronto Sun that he’s not keen on returning this season. “I just really haven’t thought about it. Like I said, I love that I have the option, but I haven’t thought about going back at all,” said Gronkowski.

Gronkowski focused on his work

As of now, Gronkowski said he’s focused on his work as an NFL analyst and as an endorser of CBD oil use.

“I’m really busy with what I have going on. I have a lot going on. I don’t really see myself at all," the former tight end said. But this doesn’t mean that Gronkowski has closed his door on a possible comeback in the coming years. The tight end said he could make a return if he’s missing the game, and he felt the need to play, saying he has an option to be able to go back and play with the Patriots, as assured by team CEO Robert Kraft.

To be able to play this season, the Patriots must place Gronkowski on their active roster after Week 13, giving the tight end 33 days to decide on whether to return or not. If the Patriots don’t place him on their active roster during that span, Gronkowski has to clear waivers where he could be picked up by other teams needed for services of a veteran tight end.

Brady full participant in practice

Veteran quarterback Tom Brady was a full participant in the Patriots’ practice on Thursday after being listed as limited on Wednesday due to a right shoulder injury. The 42-year-old Brady, who has not missed a game due to an injury since 2008, is preparing for their showdown the Ravens, which he recently described as “a hell of a game.” Seven other players remained limited for the Patriots, including Izzo, LaCosse, running back Rex Burkhead (foot), safety Patrick Chung (heel/chest), wide receiver Julian Edelman(chest/shoulder), guard Shaq Mason (ankle) and wide receiver Gunner Olszewski (ankle/hamstring). The Patriots are set to conduct one more practice before heading to Baltimore, where they will be facing the Ravens and their dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson.