Rob Gronkowski expected to play on Thursday night

AP

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reportedly told his teammates that he was planning to make his 2016 debut on Thursday night against the Texans and it looks like Gronk’s plan is coming together.

According to multiple reports, Gronkowski will be in the lineup for the first time since the AFC title game. Patriots owner Robert Kraft hinted that his team’s star tight end will be suiting up during an interview with Lisa Hughes of WBZ on Thursday. When asked if Gronkowski would play, Kraft asked Hughes what she thought and she said yes.

“I think you’re a wise lady,” Kraft said.

Gronkowski hurt his hamstring in August, leading to an extended absence from practice. He has been a limited participant in practices since the start of the regular season and has been listed as questionable to play all three weeks.

Given the layoff, there could be some limits on Gronkowski’s playing time, but even a limited role for Gronkowski should help expected starter Jacoby Brissett’s night go easier.