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Belichick: Gronkowski will play

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By PFW staff

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will play in Super Bowl XLVI, coach Bill Belichick told NFL Network on Sunday morning.

Belichick wouldn't say how much playing time Gronkowski would get Sunday but said he couldn't picture his valuable tight end sitting out the game.

The second-year player injured his ankle in the Patriots' AFC title-game victory over the Ravens, and he arrived in Indianapolis wearing a walking boot. He returned to practice Thursday for the first time, participating on a limited basis. He participated in the team's Friday walk-through, and on Saturday he was seen walking limp-free through a photo shoot.

The way we see it

Gronkowski is a matchup nightmare for most opponents, having caught 17 TD passes in 2011, the most ever by an NFL tight end in a season. His ability to play at close to 100 percent would be a huge boost to the Patriots' offense, which likes to employ a two-TE look featuring pass-catching weapons Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.


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