Patriots gridiron news: Rob Gronkowski ‘super excited’ to hit playoff stage

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski enters this year’s playoffs healthy, excited and ready to help his team make another Super Bowl run. 

Rob Gronkowski wasn’t a part of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.  Following season-ending back surgery, the New England Patriots tight end had to watch the entire playoffs on the sidelines, including Super Bowl LI.

This year, the All-Pro playmaker is healthy, playing some of the best football we’ve seen from a tight end and boy, is he excited to be a part of this year’s playoff run.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, the ever-enthusiastic Rob Gronkowski let his excitement spill out on the podium.

"“I’m excited, definitely,” Gronkowski said when asked about his playoff return.  “I wasn’t part of it last year, but…I’m super excited to be back out there with the team.  Just super excited today out there on the field with the boys again.  We had a couple days off.  It’s my first playoff game in a while, so I’m excited, man.  I’ve just got to take it one day at a time right now.”"

With one of his all-time best games coming in the team’s Week 15 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gronkowski has certainly taken it to another level in the team’s big games this season.  The playoffs wont’ be any difference.

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During the regular season, the big tight end hauled in 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.  Those numbers came with him missing two games and basically left out of the game plan in the team’s regular season finale against the New York Jets.

Heavy favorites vs. Titans 

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The New England Patriots will enter Saturday night’s Divisional Round playoff game as 13-point favorites over the Tennessee Titans.  Although odds makers aren’t given the Titans much of a chance, Patriots players are not taking Tennessee lightly.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who will be making his first playoff appearance, sees the Titans as a very dangerous team.

"“A team like that is very dangerous,” Cooks said, via  “Because they’ve been on that roll – one loss and they’re out – and they executed two in a row.  You look at a team like that that’s playing at a high level and bringing out close games, that’s the danger.”"

Mike Gillislee missing 

The could be as healthy as they have been all season heading into the playoffs.

According to the latest injury report, only running back Mike Gillislee missed practice on Tuesday.  While wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was not seen on the practice field, he was not listed on the injury report.  However, because he is not actively on the 53-man roster, he doesn’t need to be.  His absence could mean he won’t be activated for Saturday’s playoff game.

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The Patriots did have six players limited for Tuesday’s session.  Appearing on that list is DL Alan Branch, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Chris Hogan, DL Eric Lee, LB Kyle Van Noy, and running back James White.