Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski Cleared To Play In Super Bowl After Concussion, Discusses Jaguars’ Barry Church Hit
Rob Gronkowski injury news update
Gronkowski, 28, participated fully in Thursday’s practice. The All-Pro missed the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory last year due to a back injury. Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise also practiced after being cleared from concussion protocol.
Gronkowski had been sidelined since taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church during the first half of New England’s AFC Championship Game victory. Gronk addressed the injury with reporters Thursday.
“It’s football. It is what it is,” he said. “I mean, it’s a split second to make a decision. It’s running full speed one way. I’m going the other way. It’s just part of the game. It happens. Just got to move on… But yeah, I had a concussion for sure obviously or else I would have never been in protocol this whole time, for the last 10 days or however long it’s been. Everything’s going good.”
Fans and players alike chimed in on social media when the hit occurred, and most seemed to agree the hit was inevitable.
The tight end led the Patriots in receiving during the 2017 regular season with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. Gronkowski and the Pats will face a tough opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished the regular season ranked fourth in the NFL in defense.
Philadelphia is giving up 229 yards per game through the air in the playoffs.
Tom Brady has called Gronk a “dynamic player.”
“I’ve played with him a long time, I’ve thrown him a lot of footballs,” said the quarterback. “He knows exactly what to do, he knows where to expect the ball, when to expect it. He’s just a tremendous player for our team.”
In addition to Gronk’s return to the squad, the Patriots also received a visit from former defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who won Super Bowls with the team after the 2004 and 2014 seasons.
Super Bowl LII will begin at 6:30 pm ET on Sunday.
DENVER, CO – JANUARY 24: Tight end Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots after a reception during the AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 20-18. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)