Bucs will “play it by ear” with Gronk’s snaps in opener

We’re less than two weeks away from the Buccaneers visiting New Orleans in Week One of the regular season and one of the things to look forward to in that contest is tight end Rob Gronkowski‘s return to game action.

Gronkowski ended his one-season retirement this offseason and signed on to be part of a Buccaneers tight end corps that also includes Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. With those players on hand and Gronkowski well removed from his last game, head coach Bruce Arians faced a question about how much Gronkowski will play in the opener.

Arians said on Tuesday, via Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times, the team will “play it by ear” while noting that Gronkowski (and others) struggled with a 16-play drive in the team’s recent scrimmage. Gronkowski won’t control the number of snaps he plays, but said he expects to bring “joy and adrenaline” to the field when he does get the call to play.

If he throws in a few third down catches to go with that joy and adrenaline, Gronkowski’s return to active duty should be a plus in Tampa’s bid for a 1-0 start to the season.