Team leaning toward sitting Gronkowski

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Time will tell if tight end Rob Gronkowski returns from his offseason surgical procedures and plays for the first time this season Sunday against Tampa Bay. He’s practiced during the week, but he still missed the first two games while continuing his recovery from surgeries on his back and forearm.

According to a league source, Gronkowski is healthy enough to play, but the Patriots want to get him more practice time before suiting him up in a game. For that reason, the source said, the Patriots are leaning toward keeping Gronkowski out of Sunday’s home game with the Buccaneers.

Whenever Gronkowski’s return comes, Josh McDaniels, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, knows it will have a positive impact.

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