New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski and Deatrich Wise Jr., both recovering from concussions, returned to practice for the Patriots on Saturday. And the chances of each playing in Super Bowl LII just went way up.

The Patriots listed both Gronkowski and Wise as “Out” on Friday’s projected injury report. But the tight end’s quick return to practice certainly justifies the Patriots’ optimism that characterized most Gronkowski reports since the AFC Championship Game.

In addition, Tom Brady practiced without a glove on his throwing hand on Saturday in Foxboro’s relatively comfortable 50-degree weather.

WATCH: Rob Gronkowski Returns To Patriots Practice

Although Gronk’s return to the practice field is a promising sign for his recovery, the Patriots confirmed he’s still in the concussion protocol. So he’s likely to be listed as a limited participant in Saturday’s session.

As per the official protocol, Gronkowski and Wise still need to be cleared for full participation in practice. And only then can doctors officially clear them to play.

Rob Gronkowski Returns To Patriots Practice (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski walks off the field after an injury in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Still, it appears that Gronkowski could get cleared for full participation as soon as Sunday’s Patriots practice. It’s likely that the Patriots keep expressing optimism for Gronk’s return to the lineup for Super Bowl LII against Philadelphia.

— 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.