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Rob Gronkowski could be ready to return to lineup

Rob Gronkowski could be ready to make his return to the New England Patriots.

According to's Ian Rapoport, a source who knows Gronkowski's condition said don't be surprised if the tight end plays in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins.

For this to be the case, Gronkowski had to have received medical clearance on his surgically repaired forearm.

Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England reported earlier Saturday that Gronkowski is expected to dress Sunday and play in at least a limited role.

Gronkowski has been out of the lineup since suffering a broken forearm late in New England's blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11.

The Patriots' offense has managed well without him (averaging 34.2 points per game), but it will be an advantage to the team if Gronkowski can knock some rust off with the playoffs looming.

Despite missing the last five weeks, Gronkowski still leads all NFL tight ends with 10 touchdown receptions. The Pats' offense is dangerous without Gronk. With him, it's lethal.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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