The New England Patriots received some good news yesterday when tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to practice. However, despite his limited presence on the practice field, Gronkowski is not expected to play this weekend when the Patriots take on the San Francisco 49ers, according to Shalise ManzaYoung of the Boston Globe.
Even though he took part in practice — he was listed as limited on the injury report and termed questionable — a league source said Gronkowski is not expected to play Sunday night against San Francisco.
Gronkowski was practicing for the first time yesterday since breaking his left arm during a contest against the Indianapolis Colt on Nov. 18.
Young notes that if Gronkowski doesn’t play this Sunday it’s no sure bet that he’ll suit up for next weekend’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. By that time the Patriots may have already clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC, along with a first-round bye, so there would be little need to rush Gronkowski back.