Injury roundup: Rob Gronkowski will play for Patriots


The long wait for Rob Gronkowski is over. He is officially active for the New England Patriots.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay First" that the Patriots tight end would make his regular-season debut Sunday against the New York Jets. Gronkowski traveled with the team after doctors, this week, cleared him for game action following offseason back and forearm surgeries.

His return furnishes quarterback Tom Brady with one of the league's most dangerous red-zone targets. NFL Media's Kimberly Jones reported on "NFL GameDay Morning" that Rex Ryan's Jets have prepared all week as if Gronk would be in the lineup. Smart move.

How much will he play? Coach Bill Belichick told WBZ-FM on Sunday, per ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss: "It's his first game back. I don't anticipate him being on the field for every snap."

Here's the rest of Sunday's injury news:

1. Gronk's return is a plus, but New England will be short-handed on defense with cornerback Aqib Talib ruled out with a hip injury. He didn't even travel with the Patriots after hobbling through Friday's practice.

2. Dallas Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware called himself a game-time decision, but he is inactive Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Rapoport was told the injury is expected to keep the defensive end out three to four games.

3. Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray won't play, either, because of an MCL sprain that sources told Rapoport is a two-to-four-week injury. Murray was also on the Cowboys' inactive list. 

4. After sporting crutches just 12 days ago, Titans quarterback Jake Locker (hip, knee) is expected to start Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, per Rapoport. That's a major development for a Tennessee offense that fizzled out with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm.

5. As expected, Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon will play through the pain of a hamstring injury against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Rapoport reported. Blackmon is active for the Jags.

6. Jacksonville pass-catcher Cecil Shorts (clavicle) also is active. 

7. Two Bears listed as questionable, Charles Tillman and Martellus Bennett, are active for Sunday's tussle with the Washington Redskins.

8. We knew Michael Vick wouldn't start for the Eagles, despite his "questionable" status. Any chance Philly could have used him as an emergency passer against the Cowboys is out the window. Vick is inactive.

9. Bills newly signed quarterback Matt Flynn is inactive this week. That means undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel will back up starter Thad Lewis against the Miami Dolphins.

10. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones (PCL sprain) is not expected to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

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