Rob Gronkowski Injury: Patriots Tight End Reportedly Will Play Vs. Texans

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UPDATE (5:07 p.m.): Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will play Thursday night against the Texans after team owner Robert Kraft all but confirmed the news.

UPDATE (11:20 a.m.): Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski told teammates he plans to make his season debut Thursday night, The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported.

ORIGINAL STORY: Rob Gronkowski might make his 2016 debut Thursday night. Then again, he might not.

Even 12 hours before kickoff, the status of the New England Patriots tight end was unknown. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning that Gronkowski is a game-time decision with a nagging hamstring injury.

Interestingly, Rapoport noted “there’s a real chance (Gronkowski) makes his debut.”

The All-Pro tight end missed the first two games of the season after he aggravated the injury during training camp. Gronkowski didn’t appear in any of the Patriots’ four preseason games, either.

There’s an added need for talent on the field Thursday night against the Houston Texans, however, as New England likely will have third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett under center with Tom Brady still suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo nursing a shoulder injury.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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