Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/27/12
In sports, it’s a conundrum nearly as old as the ball itself. When staring down at a sure-thing playoff slot but with more regular season to go, do you rest your players, or keep them on the field? Unfortunately, with the patriots and tight end Rob Gronkowski, it’s a little more complicated than even that. Gronkowski has missed every game since Week 11 when he fractured his forearm. Although Gronk has returned to practice in a limited role, he’s still waiting the doctor’s all-clear before he returns to the football field on Sundays. But what, say, if he does get that go-ahead between now and this Sunday’s matchup with the Dolphins? While Gronkowski is in the immediate aftermath of sustaining a serious injury, it’s not one that, one rehabbed from, has a high likelihood of being reaggravated. But, on the other hand, better safe than sorry, right? That being said, since Gronkowski has missed to much time, it does figure that the Patriots might want to give him involved in some live plays — since he’s such a central figure in Josh McDaniels‘ offense — before they begin to really count in the playoffs. No matter how well you practice, it’s never the same thing as game situations. So, assuming that Gronk gets the doctor’s approval, what should the Patriots do with their star tight end this Sunday? Take Our Poll

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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