Super Bowl 2012: Gronkowski mum on ankle, Patriots and Giants hold Media Day

January 31, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI is just days away, and Patriots fans are carefully watching the status of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has missed several practices with an ankle injury as his team prepares to face the Giants Sunday. As Matt Brooks reported:

Rob Gronkowski’s injured left ankle kept him out of practice last week and in a walking boot.

A boot-less Gronkowski fielded questions during Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day, and not surprisingly, many dealt with the high ankle sprain he suffered during New England’s AFC championship game victory over Baltimore.

But if the reporters on hand expected the Patriots’ top receiver to provide an actual update, they haven’t been covering Bill Belichick’s teams for very long.

“The game is six days away,” Gronkowski said. “I can be 100 percent by then or I can be 2 percent by then. It’s day to day.”

That’s the kind of cold-blooded coach’s speak they teach you on Day 1 in New England, and it does nothing to clarify his status for Sunday’s game.

That said, the fact that Gronk is out of the walking boot is a good sign for Patriots fans and quarterback Tom Brady, who threw an NFL record 17 touchdown passes to Gronkowski this season. Odds are, he’s playing.

Of course, maybe that’s just what Belichick wants the Giants to think...

The Patriots held their Media Day on Tuesday, and while Chad Ochocinco did not follow through on a threat to wear a towel if he made the Super Bowl, the players expressed excitement at the upcoming matchup. As Cindy Boren reported:

Vince Wilfork passes up the opportunity to predict the winner of the Florida primary, preferring instead to talk about how difficult it is to face a quarterback named Manning.

“Every time I play a Manning, it’s stressful. It’s like during training camp when the defense plays the offense and we have to face [Tom] Brady. [Eli and Peyton Manning] are so good at what they do.”

10:33 a.m.: Chad Ochocinco is wearing a jersey and pants, although he once said he’d wear just a towel if he ever made the Super Bowl. Fans should ask for their money back. This is not a terribly exciting Media Day so far...it cries out for a wardrobe malfunction of some sort.

Ochocinco, once Deion Sanders stops hugging him and telling him how proud of him he is, says he has looked on this season as a “test from You Know Who.”

He says he’d rather be at the Super Bowl and not have a catch rather than putting up stellar numbers. Ochocinco says he’s used to being home on the Martin Luther King holiday.

Ocho informs Sanders that he doesn’t need a podium. “I’ve got 3 million Twitter followers. That’s my podium.”

The Giants held their Media Day after the Patriots had their turn, and Eli Manning was asked not just about his preparations for Sunday, but also about the fate of his brother Peyton. As Cindy Boren wrote:

Eli Manning addresses the elephant in the room in Indianapolis. That would be his older brother Peyton Manning, whose future, you may have heard, is somewhat uncertain. Eli Manning spoke of how much he’s learned from Peyton, just as you’d expect. “He’s been a great big brother and supporter of me and I know he’ll be rooting hard for the Giants.”

Eli was asked what winning a second Super Bowl would mean for his legacy. “As a player, I don’t think you think about your legacy...All I’m thinking about is what this would mean for the New York Giants and their fans and certain players...what it would mean for Deon [Grant] or Victor Cruz or Hakeem [Nicks] to win a championship. I think you put it above yourself and ask what it would mean for them.”

Brandon Jacobs recovered from the shock of being interviewed by a guy in a ginormous fur hat in time to admit he might not be able to spell “Umenyiora” and to discuss his quarterback. “I believe in Eli. I’ve believed in Eli my whole seven years [with the Giants]. I’ve watched him put in the work, I’ve watched him grow. He’s going to continue to be a successful quarterback the rest of his career.”

More Super Bowl XLVI coverage from Washington Post Sports:

Sally Jenkins: Manning reveals a serious game face behind baby face

The League: If Patriots win, are Brady, Belichick the best ever?

Early Lead: Gronkowski misses practice with ankle injury

Giants’ wide receivers are a triple threat

Couch Slouch: The 2012 Super Bowl viewing guide

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