New England Patriots

Oct 14, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to be able to play on Sunday against the New York Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gronkowski has been on the injury report with an ankle injury since Week 3. He’s also appeared on the report with a back injury since Week 6.

The tight end last played in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills, playing 68 snaps and catching three of his eight targets for 43 yards. He has missed three of the last four games for the Patriots, plus the bye in Week 11.

Gronkowski has just one touchdown in seven games this season. He’s also on pace for his lowest receptions per game (4.1) and yards per game (64.0) since his rookie season in 2010.

Oct 14, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) warms up before the start of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The bye week came at a fortunate time for the Patriots health-wise.

Julian Edelman appeared to aggravate an ankle injury that’s landed him on the injury report since Week 9, but it’s not considered serious. Cordarrelle Patterson also appeared on the Week 10 injury report with a neck injury, but was active against the Titans. Left tackle Trent Brown has been battling an illness and temporarily had to leave the Patriots’ 34-10 loss in Tennessee. Rookie running back Sony Michel (knee) has been limited since suffering a fresh knee injury in Week 7 against the Bears.

Despite Gronkowski’s struggles to produce individually in 2018, his presence alone will be a welcome return. The Patriots have averaged 27.7 points per game on offense in seven games with Gronkowski, compared to 21.7 points in the three games without him.

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