Originally written on AFC East Daily  |  Last updated 12/15/12

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots carries a reception into the endzone past Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants for a first quarter touchdown on September 2, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Early last week, the Boston Globe reported that injured New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would return to practice sometime during the week.The Patriots stretched it out as long as possible, but Gronkowski, who is recovering from a fractured forearm, was in fact back on the practice field Friday, albeit limited. While Gronkowski's appearance at practice is a step in the right direction, New England won't take any chances with him this weekend, as ProFootballTalk confirmed Friday that the Patriots will not dress Gronkowski against the San Francisco 49ers.Gronkowski is likely to return to the game field by Week 17, which will give him one full-speed outing to get re-acclimated for the playoffs.New England has been just fine without him, continuing its ridiculous scoring pace of 36.6 points per game. Having Aaron Hernandez as your other tight end certainly helps.Hernandez caught two touchdowns last week against the Houston Texans and was three yards short of 100 yards the w...
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