The outstanding tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has announced that he believes his quarterback Tom Brady will play all 16 games of the regular season, despite his four-game ban from the deflate-gate scandal recently being revoked.
After the court hearing, Gronkowski told ESPN: "I was actually surprised. It was a surprise to everyone.
"I thought it was totally done and it was crazy to see it happen again. It's kind of getting stupid to the point where it's at now. Why it's still going on now ... I think he's going to play 16 games again. That's the way it's been going on, that's the way it's worked, so hopefully that's true."
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The news comes after it was initially decided by a federal judge, that his ban that took some of the gloss off his Superbowl win two seasons ago, would be dropped in September 2015, but then re-applied in April 2016.
Brady has until May 23 to re-appeal the decision, whether it be to the same three judges, or to a completely different group.
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Gronkowski won't be the only person hoping the four-time Superbowl champion wins his appeal, as coach Bill Belichick will be wanting to start the campaign strongly again, with the extra threat of a powerful Buffalo Bills roster waiting to take full advantage.
Brady has started every game since the start of the 2002 season for the Patriots (apart from missing 15 games during the 2008 season due to tearing both his ACL and MCL in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs), and his knowledge of the offence is second-to-none.
He would be a bigger loss over four games, than Josh Norman moving to the Redskins will be a loss for the Panthers over a season, and we all know how big that story was last month!
Also, due to the new additions and lack of depth at wide receiver, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo won't have the complete, reliable receivers to throw towards, apart from the obviously double-covered Gronkowski, during the four games Brady would miss - thus potentially leading to interceptions, and piling more pressure on the young play-caller.
The 17-year veteran has always denied his role in the deflate-gate scandal, but despite this, the NFL have always believed he played a part in deflating the footballs prior to the game against the Colts in the postseason, hence the topsy-turvy case.
Over the first four games of last season (or three if you discount the bye week in week four), Brady totalled nine touchdown passes and zero interceptions, while the Patriots routed all three opponents, outscoring them 119-70.
As it stands, Brady will miss the season opener in Arizona, followed by three home games against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills. His return is scheduled to be versus the Cleveland Browns, who themselves are in a bit of a quarterback situation!
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