New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski Injury: Patriots TE expected to be cleared this week

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The return of star TE Rob Gronkowski is just what the doctor ordered for the New England Patriots, and the Patriots are finally set to have Gronkowski back for this week’s huge battle against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are 5-0, so the Patriots will need to take advantage of the Saints secondary; they will need to be able to keep up with Drew Brees and his ridiculous load of offensive weapons.

Rob Gronkowski has been ready to play for a few weeks now, but both Gronk and the Patriots want him to return only when he is absolutely, 100% healthy. Like, as healthy as possible. The Patriots don’t want a repeat of what happened last year, and they know they need Rob Gronkowski back for the stretch of the season and the postseason. Health is paramount for Gronkowski, and he certainly knows it as well.

Gronk could have possibly played in last week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but his revised target date (with the knowledge that the Patriots and Gronkowski want as much rest as possible for the star tight end) was set as Week 6. Pro Football Talk reports, citing a league source, that Rob Gronkowski is expected to receive medical clearance this week and will “likely” play against the Saints in Sunday’s big matchup. This is great news for Patriots fans and Gronkowski fantasy owners, but nothing is set in stone.

I highly doubt that Gronk is out on Sunday, though, because the Patriots know they need him in order to defeat the Saints. He also seems ready to play, and the Patriots will want him to return before Week 7, which was the PUP activation date. Even so, being able to have him practice and monitor his status closely (as well as forcing opponents to gameplan for Gronk) made the move to keep him on the 53-man roster worth it.

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Tags: Injury Report New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski

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