Patriots Release Dan Gronkowski; Promote Ross Ventrone To Roster

On Friday afternoon the New England Patriots released TE Dan Gronkowski, brother of another Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski.

Newly aquired New England Patriots tight end Dan Gronkowski (82), brother of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, stretches during NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass. , Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. The Patriots open their season against the Miami Dolphins in Miami on Monday night, Sept. 12.Dan Gronkowski was only with the team a few weeks after signing with New England after being released by Denver at the end of training camp.  He appeared in two games with the Patriots.

In addition to Denver and New England, Gronkowski spent 2009 with Detroit prior to being traded to the Broncos prior to the start of the 2010 season.

The move is curious seeing as the team only had three tight ends on the roster, this move makes that two and of the two, Aaron Hernandez has been declared out of the Buffalo game on Sunday with a sprained MCL.

The team is already short offensive lineman as Sebastian Vollmer is also out and now it looks like they’ll need to find a tight end as well.  Look for at least one practice squad promotion on Saturday to fill the Gronkowski roster spot.

9/24 Update: The corresponding roster move for the Patriots is the promotion of S Ross Ventrone from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Ventrone, who played his college ball at Villanova, has been with the team sice 2010. His brother Ray Ventrone played for Patriots in 2009.

This move most likely signals that S Patrick Chung will miss the game with a thumb injury.

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Photo credit: AP Photo