Gronkowski expected to play for Pats Sunday

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates his touchdown against the Miami Dolphins...

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates his touchdown against the Miami Dolphins December 30, 2012. (REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 2:51 PM ET

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is likely to be cleared for Sunday's game after missing the first five weeks of the season, according to multiple reports.

Gronkowski, who is recovering from multiple back and forearm injuries, has not played this season. He would be making his season debut against the undefeated New Orleans Saints.

Gronkowski, 24, underwent surgery June 18 to correct a spinal issue that nagged him last season. He has has 187 catches for 2,663 yards and 38 touchdowns in three seasons.

The Patriots' offense has struggled this season, ranking 21st in the NFL in passing. Tom Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass last Sunday for the first time since 2010 -- ending his streak at 52 straight games -- as the Patriots lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 13-6.

 


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