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Gronk long shot to play for Patriots against Bengals

And now, friends, your daily Rob Gronkowski update ...

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the New England Patriots tight end is a long shot to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to a source with knowledge of the team's thinking. After offseason back and forearm surgeries, Gronkowski continues to express a desire to return to the field in Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints.

The Patriots feel Gronkowski has looked good in practice, according to Rapoport, but he's taken his time returning to game action. Rapoport noted last Sunday on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning" that some inside the Patriots organization believe Gronkowski's father has been vocal in his son's decision not to rush back onto the field.

With the Patriots sitting at 4-0, it's not as if New England's world revolves around Gronk's return. Still, he'll be a welcome sight for Tom Brady, who has thrown to a cast of newbies all season and certainly could use a difference-maker through the air.

The "Around The League Podcast" handed out our quarter season awards this week.

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