Rob Gronkowski returns to practice as a limited participant

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In the most tangible sign yet that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will play on Sunday, the team announced today that he did participate in practice.

On today’s injury report, the Patriots listed Gronkowski as a limited participant. Yesterday he was the only player on the team who didn’t practice at all.

The status of Gronkowski, who suffered an ankle injury in the AFC Championship Game, has been the subject of a great deal of media scrutiny over the last week and a half. But all indications are that he will be able to play on Sunday. If he’s on the field at all today, it’s just about impossible to imagine that he wouldn’t be on the field for the Super Bowl.