Rested Gronkowski ready for another big second half

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While it’s hard to imagine Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski replicating last year’s second half, he’s at least had a bye week to give himself a chance at starting the back half of this season healthy.

Gronkowski’s still on pace for 1,160 yards and 14 touchdowns this year, and that’s huge, except when you compare it to the back of his football card.

He caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns last year, with 731 of the yards and 11 of the scores coming in the final eight games.

It always amps up. Every game matters. Every game gets bigger and bigger as the season goes on,” Gronkowski said, via Mark Daniels of the Boston Herald. “We’ve just got to go out there, we’ve got to perform. We’ve got to execute our plays well. I’ve got to be doing my job. I’ve got to be performing to the best of my ability. As an offense as a whole, we’ve just got to go out there and click and get better.”

Being healthy will help toward that goal, as he’s been bothered by an ankle injury all season. Quarterback Tom Brady said Gronkowski “hasn’t had too many chances to practice this season. He’s been listed on the injury report a ton, but he comes out and plays every single week.”

If he’s well enough to play like last November and December’s Gronkowski, he’ll do more than just show up.