BOSTON (CBS) — The odds of Rob Gronkowski playing Monday night against the Bills improved greatly Thursday afternoon.

The Patriots tight end was back on the practice field Thursday, as New England prepares to pay their AFC East foe a visit on National TV. He was a limited participant, but Gronkowski was doing what tight ends usually do on the field.

That’s a great sign that he could return to the New England offense Monday night, which is terrible news for the Bills. Gronkowski has tortured his hometown team throughout his career, scoring 12 touchdowns against them in 13 games. He’s averaged 15.6 yards on his 66 receptions against the Bills, helping the Patriots win 11 of those 13 matchups.

Gronkowski did not play in New England’s Week 7 win in Chicago after back spasms flared up in the final practice of the week. He did not participate in Wednesday’s practice this week, but since the Patriots are playing Monday night, there was no injury report issued following the session.

Also returning to the field Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session were right tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) and defensive end Deatrich Wise (ankle/knee). Running back Sony Michel (knee) and corner Eric Rowe (groin) did not participate for the second straight day.

Here’s New England’s full practice report from Thursday:


Sony Michel, RB (knee)
Eric Rowe, CB (groin)
OL Brian Schwenke (foot)


Trent Brown, OL (ankle)
Marcus Cannon, OL (concussion)
Josh Gordon, WR (hamstring)
Geneo Grissom, DL (ankle)
Rob Gronkowski, TE (ankle/back)
Dont’a Hightower, LB (knee)
Jacob Hollister, TE (hamstring)
John Simon, DE (shoulder)
Deatrich Wise Jr., DE (ankle/knee)

When the Patriots and Bills are done battling on Monday Night Football, be sure to tune into Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!

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