“Have you talked to him yet? Is he around here today? He is? Well, good,” Brady said, laughing. “That makes me happy then. He’s a big weapon for us. He’s a guy that always shows up with a great attitude. He’s just an incredible player. Hopefully he can go out there and play his best game of the year.”
The Patriots came back in last year’s Super Bowl without Gronkowski, who went on injured reserve with a back injury that required surgery after only eight games. They came back in this year’s AFC Championship Game, too, despite Gronkowski playing only 26 of 64 plays as he was knocked out with a concussion before halftime.
But Gronkowski makes Brady’s job easier and the Patriots a better team.
Doctors cleared Gronkowski from concussion protocol on Thursday, assuring he will start Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
“Gronk is just a dominant player,” Brady said. “He always finds a way to have space. He’s tall. He’s fast. He’s quick. He’s got incredible hands. I mean, look at the guy. It’s pretty nice to throw to guys like that. I’ve been lucky to be his teammate for a long time. He’s a great friend. He’ll be a friend for life. I’m proud of him and everything that he’s accomplished and what he’s overcome. His mental and physical toughness has been a great attribute, and I’m hoping he goes out and plays a great game.”