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Rob Gronkowski to make season debut for Patriots?

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport has said for weeks that Rob Gronkowski planned to make his long-awaited return to the field in Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints.

The New England Patriots tight end is one step closer to making that happen.

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Tuesday that early indications suggest Gronkowski will play Sunday, per a source briefed of the situation. Breer added Gronk is expected to play, but it's not a 100 percent sure thing. He'll be examined by Dr. James Andrews before a final call is made, a source who's spoken to the player told Breer.

Gronkowski's return would put an end to weeks of speculation about when the team's best pass-catcher would be available for Tom Brady to throw to.

Gronkowski has practiced with the Patriots, but caution has been applied to his comeback after an offseason back procedure and multiple forearm surgeries. For a team that expects to compete deep into winter, Gronk still has plenty of time to contribute.

His return would boost a New England offensive attack flooded with newbie pass-catchers and sitting in an unusual spot after a 4-1 start:

The sure hands of Gronk should help finesse those atypical figures.

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