If you stay up to date on the news around the AFC East, you know that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is recovering from surgery to repair an ACL injury last year, participated in 11 on 11 drills with the Patrioits for the first time since training camp opened.
That is great news for the Patriots as it suggests Gronkowski may be ready for the Sept. 7 opener against the Dolphins. That may not be great news for the Dolphins as it suggests Gronkowski may be ready for the Sept. 7 opener against the Patriots.
But in the shadows of the Gronkowski news on social media (you should be following me on twitter) is the fact the Dolphins also got an infusion of talent to their tight end corps Monday when Charles Clay returned to practice for the first time in weeks.
Clay, who had less invasive knee surgery in the offseason, had missed every practice and preseason game since the Aug. 4 scrimmage.
But on Monday he was back full -- working in all the drills, including 11 on 11.
"It’s a good feeling," Clay said of his return. "Any time you miss time, you kind of want to be out there working with your guys getting better. They’ve been doing a good job, working hard and they had a good win this past weekend. I’m just trying to come back and knock a little rust off and get things going.
“I was really antsy, just sitting at home the first week watching the game. You never want to be home watching, but, at the same time, any time you deal with something like that, you’ve got to work hard to get back. Like I said, I’m just happy to be back right now."
Clay's status for Saturday's dress rehearsal game versus Dallas at Sun Life is up in the air.
But he hasn't been worried the knee would be a detriment for the season.
"No, there wasn’t any point where I was worried. We have a good training staff, so just getting the chance to work with those guys. There was never any doubt in my mind. There wasn’t any point in time where I thought it was bad."
“You always want to get some kind of live reps. But at this time, like I said, the health is the most important thing. I’m not rushing anything. I’m just coming out here trying to get better.
“You always want to get some kind of live reps. But at this time, like I said, the health is the most important thing. I’m not rushing anything. I’m just coming out here trying to get better."
The Dolphins have a new offense. They've installed tons of information -- plays, formations, audibles -- since Clay was last on the field. He's not worried.
"They’re still installing things and stuff like that and having certain looks and making adjustments," Clay said. "Me not being able to practice the time I did, it’s only right that I get those mental reps and, if they happen in a game, I’ll be ready.
“I’m up to speed. I did a lot of studying during that time, watched a lot of film. I’m coming back and, like I said, I’m just working on getting better every day.”