The Arizona Wildcats could start the football season without their biggest target.
Sophomore tight end Rob Gronkowski has been diagnosed with strep throat and is being tested for mononucleosis, UA coach Mike Stoops said today. Gronkowski was not in attendance at Saturday’s “Meet the Team” function inside Arizona Stadium, and is questionable to play in next week’s season opener against Idaho.
Gronkowski could miss a month or more should he test positive for mono.
“We’re all kind of unsure right now,” Stoops said. “Hopefully, we’ll have him back as quickly as possible.”
Gronkowski, 19, caught 28 passes for 525 yards and six touchdowns as a true freshman in 2007. He is expected to be one of the Wildcats’ top receivers again as a sophomore.
Stoops said he should know early next week whether Gronkowski can play; if not, sophomore tight end A.J. Simmons would take his spot in the starting lineup. Coaches could replace the tight end position with another wide receiver, a strategy that has worked well at programs like Texas Tech.
“We’ll adjust our game plan according to what Rob’s availability is,” Stoops said. “We’re not sure exactly how long we’re dealing with right now. Hopefully, it’s not an extended period of time.”