Rob Gronkowski has been back at practice for a couple of weeks, but the forearm injury that has sidelined him since Nov. 18 has kept him from returning to games.
That could change this Sunday, though.
While initial reports have been that Gronkowski will not play against the Dolphins as the Patriots get ready for the playoffs, Mike Reiss of ESPN reports that Gronkowski has increased his practice participation this week to that of a normal week leading up to a game. His heightened activity “strengthens the possibility that he could suit up” against Miami, Reiss says, citing a team source.
Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet gave a similar report Saturday, going as far as to say that Gronkowski is expected to play.
Expect to see Rob Gronkowski suited up and playing Sunday in at least a limited role, according to a source. #PatriotsTalk—
Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) December 29, 2012
Gronkowski has missed five games since the injury, with coach Bill Belichick, the team and Gronkowski all saying he would return once cleared by the team’s medical staff.
The Patriots have good reason to tread carefully with Gronkowski. The standout tight end battled through an ankle injury in last year’s postseason, and his inability to play at full strength in the Super Bowl was lamented by many as a reason for the Patriots’ loss.