New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski still looks likely to play in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, but he won’t be at the game’s biggest media extravaganza. The Patriots tight end is expected to miss Super Bowl Opening Night at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Gronk undoubtedly would’ve been one of the biggest draws at Opening Night, which is typically the biggest media crowd of the whole week. But as of Monday, he remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. So he still needs to be cleared for full contact, and then doctors can clear him to play.

Gronkowski did return to practice for the Patriots on Saturday and Sunday, albeit in a limited capacity. The Patriots held him out of practice last week and listed him as “Out” with a concussion on Friday’s projected injury report.

Rob Gronkowski at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

In other practice news, defensive tackle Malcom Brown (foot) also returned to practice over the weekend. He later told reporters that he expects to play on Sunday against the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise, also recovering from a concussion, continued to practice along with Gronkowski on Saturday and Sunday. He’s also still in the concussion protocol, but the chances of him suiting up for the Super Bowl also look positive.

It will be a bit disappointing for reporters not to have access to Gronkowski on opening night. But of course, bright lights, flashbulbs and loud noises probably aren’t the best thing to expose to a player who’s in the concussion protocol. So in light of that, if Gronk shows up for media events later in the week then his prospects of playing will only look better.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 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