Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots practice

Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski was back at practice as the Patriots practiced Saturday on the practice field at Gillette Stadium. John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

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FOXBOROUGH – Rob Gronkowski returned to field Saturday afternoon for the first time since suffering a concussion in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.

The All-Pro tight end looked in fine form as he went through stretching, jogging, and then catching passes during individual drills during the portion of full pads practice media were allowed to observe.

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Gronkowski, who absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville’s Barry Church in the game, had been in the NFL’s concussion protocol all week. Though Gronkowski remains in the concussion protocol, his return obviously bodes well for his availability for Super Bowl LII against the Eagles in a week.


Rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise, who also had been out all week with a concussion, also was back on the field for the unseasonably warm and sunny workout on the lower field behind Gillette Stadium.

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who is dealing with a foot injury but has been spotted in the locker room all week, was the lone player missing from the session.

For the record, quarterback Tom Brady shed the red glove on his right hand during pocket drills. He wasn’t spotted throwing.


Brady suffered a cut that required multiple stitches on the hand during the Wednesday practice before the AFC Championship game and has been wearing a glove during practices ever since.

New England will hold one more practice session Sunday before departing for Minneapolis on Monday morning following a send off rally at Gillette.

Related: What’s happening to Gronk’s brain? Concussions set off “energy crisis’’

Here are a few more photos of Gronkowski at Saturday’s practice: