The "sometime after their Week 11 bye" indicates that he's no lock to be back on the field in Week 12.
If Gronkowski indeed sits out Sunday's game, it wouldn't be much of a surprise. Maybe that Steelers game is a good target for Gronk in a matchup that could be critical for playoff positioning. Gronkowski hasn't been himself since Week 6 against Kansas City and has missed two of New England's last three games.
The New England Patriots are taking an extra-cautious approach with their star tight end. Nothing is free in the National Football League, and even when you're a huge favorite you can come away with an L if there's an assumption of victory. In seven games this season, Gronkowski has just one touchdown and is averaging 64 yards receiving per game. New England ranks No. 5 in the National Football League in points per game, scoring over 30 in five of their nine games.
The Boston Herald first reported on Saturday that Gronkowski is likely out versus Tennessee. It's life. You've got to take them on. Just got to get back to where I need to be and just be myself when I get back.