Appearing during the second half of the nearly two-hour session, Gronkowski participated on a limited basis for the first time since suffering a sprained left ankle during the AFC Championship Game.
âHe did some things. He didnât do everything,â Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. âWeâll see how he is tomorrow. I think that will be the big key -- how he responds to this today.â
Asked how encouraged he was by what Gronkowski did Thursday, Belichick said, âIt was good. It was fine. Weâll see where he is tomorrow -- whether that set him back, whether it didnât and whether heâs able to continue to progress on a daily basis. But it was a good test for him, too, at least. At least he was out here and did some things to see how it feels. Weâll see how it goes.â
Gronkowski enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons for a tight end in NFL history with 90 catches for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Belichick said the Patriots had "good energy" and worked hard during the Friday's session, which he called "more review." The Patriots listed 11 other players as limited for the second straight day, including safety Patrick Chung (knee), guard Logan Mankins (knee), linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee) and wide receiver Wes Welker (knee).
Offensive tackle Matt Light was a full participant for the second straight day after dealing with the flu on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Belichick made the strategic move of taking a 30-minute break during the middle of practice to mimic the extended halftime during the Super Bowl.
"We were trying to simulate the best we can," Belichick said. "It's not perfect but itâs the best we could do. Practice, take a break, come back out and re-start."