NFL players are facing a cold shower after playing ice hockey game

By TOM CAMPBELL NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — In a cold, rainy morning in New York City, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski stood on the sideline.

Gronkowski, the team’s top tight end and one of the best in the league, has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and is currently listed as day-to-day with a rib injury.

Gronk’s injury comes on the heels of an injury-plagued performance for the Patriots last week, when he had a shoulder injury and missed four games.

The team has since been dealt with a series of injuries to key players.

“The day before the game today, we had a player that was really injured and had to leave the game,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said during the team-day press conference.

“It’s not good.

It’s bad.”

Gronkowski’s absence leaves New England without its top two tight ends and left the Patriots to rely on undrafted rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

“We were lucky with the injuries that we had with those two tight end guys and they’re good,” Belichick said.

“They’re both good.

But we had to make room on the roster.

So they’re both guys that are here and can play.”

After missing three weeks, Gronkowski returned to practice on Thursday and has been the team leader in receptions (28), yards (3,918) and touchdowns (eight).

However, he was a different player in practice.

“I feel like I can do everything.

I can run, catch the football, kick the ball, tackle,” Gronkowski said.

Gronkin said he is confident he can return to 100 percent and that he will be able to play in the regular season.

“Absolutely,” Gronk said.

“(I’m) 100 percent ready to go.

I’m 100 percent.

I just have to make sure that I’m able to keep practicing hard.”

Gronk, who has been playing with a brace on his left knee since late September, said he was surprised that the team did not call him for the injury report.

“When you get hurt and don’t play, I just had a really bad day, so I didn’t know about it,” Gronko said.

The Patriots will not know whether Gronkowski is out until after the team hosts the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Gronkington did not immediately return a text message seeking comment.

Patriots wide receiver Rob Gronk is not on the team list for the first time in his career.

He had surgery on his injured right knee last week.