Pats TE Gronkowski listed as active vs. Jets

Updated: October 20, 2013, 11:38 AM ET


By
Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is officially active for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, marking his first game back after undergoing offseason surgeries on his back and forearm.

The return was anticipated after Gronkowski received medical clearance by Dr. James Andrews, as his agent Drew Rosenhaus relayed to several media outlets on Friday.

The 24-year old last played during the Patriots’ divisional round game in the playoffs last season, during which he re-broke the left forearm that he initially injured during Week 11 of the regular season.

In his absence, the Patriots have leaned on Michael Hoomanawanui as their top tight end, though the position has been far less of a focal point than it was in recent seasons.

Tight ends have managed just nine catches through six games this season, while Gronkowski had 55 catches in just 11 regular-season games last year.

While it is unclear exactly how much Gronkowski will play Sunday, the Patriots will welcome his presence back into their offense, particularly in the red zone.

New England has scored touchdowns on just nine of 22 trips inside the 20, 30th in the NFL. In 2012, with Gronkowski on the field for many of their red-zone opportunities, the Patriots led the league in percentage of touchdowns scored.

New England’s offense will look to build upon its best effort of the season in Week 6, when it scored 30 points in a thrilling win against the New Orleans Saints.

While Gronkowski is available Sunday, the offense will be without wide receiver Danny Amendola (concussion). Fellow wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was listed as questionable to play with a thigh injury, is active and will play.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston’s Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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