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News Blitz 7/10: Gronkowski reportedly progressing with rehab

Posted Jul 10, 2013

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up to date with the latest news from local and national media.

Ed Werder of ESPN.com reports that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is back in Foxborough rehabbing with team trainers. His main focus thus far has been stretching and improving his core strength.

"A person who has seen Gronkowski at the facility tells ESPN that Gronkowski looks good and seems to be progressing, but nobody yet knows whether he'll be ready for the Patriots' opener against the Buffalo Bills," writes Werder.

Gronkowski is expected to open training camp on the PUP list, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com gives Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow a 25% chance to make the 53-man roster.

"As long as Ryan Mallett locks down the job backing up Tom Brady -- and it would be an upset if Tebow can push Mallett for that job -- then Tebow will need to earn his playing time through a well-defined role on special teams and in the offense. It will be an uphill battle," adds Rodak.

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes that Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will be the team's No. 2 receiver on opening day in Buffalo barring any health issues.

"I also wouldn't undersell his athleticism and speed," notes Reiss. "Naturally, losing part of the offseason as he rehabs his foot wasn't ideal, but I think one of the main things he has going for him is a trust built up with Tom Brady and a knowledge of the offense. If he's healthy on the opening day of camp, I think he'll quickly elevate to close to the top of the depth chart."

Nick Underhill of MassLive.com is counting down the top 25 players essential to the New England Patriots 2013 success. Today he released No. 11-15 on the list, with linebacker Brandon Spikes coming in at No. 11.

"The man who brings the edge to New England’s defense, Spikes continued to build on his reputation as being one of the best run-stopping linebackers in the NFL during the 2012 season," writes Underhill. "His pass coverage still need some work, but Spikes spent his offseason working in Florida with the hope of improving his game. Entering the final year of his contract, proving serviceable in passing situation should help him find the payday he desires."