New England saw Gronkowski and wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot) both return to practice this week to Bill Belichick's delight. Edelman has already been ruled out against the Texans on Sunday night, but there is a realistic chance that Gronk will make it out on the field, as Rapoport reported earlier this week.
Still, in traveling with the team, the tight end has now cleared one major hurdle to play. If he is cleared, Gronkowski will provide Tom Brady and his barren offensive arsenal a much-needed weapon.
In other Patriots injury news, linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and guard Josh Kline (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday's game.