(Charles Krupa/AP)

The surprise trade of veteran Patriots guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay in exchange for Buccaneers tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round draft pick last week had the world abuzz  and not just because Tom Brady was reportedly “very upset” about it. New England’s decision to bring in another, younger tight end caused many to question the health of veteran tight end Rob Gronkowski, who the Patriots had earlier indicated they were “optimistic but not certain” about due to a right anterior cruciate ligament injury and subsequent surgery. Today, however, Gronkowski attempted to put those fears to rest, announcing definitively that he would be ready to play in the Sept. 7 opener against the Dolphins in Miami.

“I’m ready to go,” the Patriots’ star tight end told reporters (via ESPN). “I’ll be playing.” He added:

“I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it. My mentality now is I’m ready to go, I’m ready to be out there, I’m ready to hit, I’m ready to start going.”

Gronk is obviously excited. In fact, he told reporters (via ESPN) that he was “super excited, super pumped,” but so are football fans.