49ers vs. Patriots: Rob Gronkowski returns to practice in New England

David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

With the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots set to face off on Sunday Night Football, we discuss the news of Rob Gronkowski returning to practice on Friday.

We’re a couple days away from the epic showdown in Foxborough between the San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) and New England Patriots (10-3). The 49ers have been preparing all week for the fireworks show that Tom Brady and the Pats bring offensively.

With names like Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez, the Niners could find themselves with some occasional match-up problems. The Patriots seem to have no shortage of offensive playmakers.

This afternoon, NFL Network’s Michael Fabiano reported that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski was finally back at practice on Friday.

Gronkowski broke his forearm this season as a blocker on a special teams play. The Pats tight end would need surgery but it would not be a season-ending injury. Luckily for the team, New England got Hernandez back just in time.

While it’s a good sign for New England that Gronkowski practiced, there is no official word that he will be game-ready by Sunday night. However, knowing how Bill Belichick operates, absolutely anything could happen.

If Gronkowski was a surprise activation moments prior to the game, it wouldn’t surprise anyone. On the other hand, Gronkowski’s participation in practice could be a rouse to get the 49ers to over-prepare and dedicate time to someone they might not need to.

Either way, this is an interesting development as Sunday Night Football approaches.

Follow @DeSimone80

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