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New England Patriots

The Patriots continue to sound more confident that tight end Rob Gronkowski will be in the active lineup for Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted from Foxboro on Thursday that the Patriots appeared to be in “great moods” in the locker room. She added, presumably from talking to several players, that the “overall feel” is that Gronkowski will be “in the lineup” for the Super Bowl.

No surprise there, as the latest reports echo the initial feelings that Gronk will be OK. But concussions are not an injury to take lightly, certainly not in today’s NFL. And they’re also unpredictable depending on the player.

Nevertheless, signs continue to point toward Gronkowski not just taking the field but being the same old Gronk when the Patriots take on the Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. And if he dominates like he’s capable of doing, he could break some playoff records.

Injury Report: Brady, Gronkowski Appear

Rob Gronkowski is hit by Barry Church of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

No surprise here, either. Gronkowski did not participate in Thursday’s practice at Gillette Stadium as he continues his concussion recovery. Curiously, Tom Brady returned to the list after being left off Wednesday’s projected injury report with his right hand injury.

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown (foot) sat out on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. Safety Devin McCourty (shoulder) was a new addition. Here’s the full Patriots injury report for Thursday:

Did Not Participate

TE Rob Gronkowski (Concussion)
DL Deatrich Wise (Concussion)
DL Malcom Brown (Foot)

Limited Participant

RB Mike Gillislee (Knee)
T LaAdrian Waddle (Knee)
QB Tom Brady (Right Hand)
S Devin McCourty (Shoulder)

The injury reports will only continue to be worth monitoring, especially as the list grows. But what’s also growing is the optimism that Gronkowski will clear the concussion protocol in time for the Super Bowl.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.