Rob Gronkowski Cleared to Practice? Patriots Star Still In Concussion Protocol as Super Bowl 52 Looms

Rob Gronkowski sounded as certain about his health on Tuesday evening as a player with a concussion the week before the Super Bowl could sound.

Asked by ESPN if he would be healthy to play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Gronkowski answered with a short, emphatic, "Yes."

"Hopefully by tomorrow [Wednesday]. We'll see how it goes and what the doctors say. I'm not the guy to say I'm out of the protocol. That is the doctor's call," Gronkowski continued.

The 28-year-old laughed and smiled in a video posted by NBC Philadelphia's John Clark as he took questions from reporters following a game of Madden with Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount on Tuesday.

Rob Gronkowski speaking for first time this week says tonight he expects to be cleared tomorrow and expects to play Sunday#FlyEaglesFly#SuperBowl

— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 31, 2018

In another video posted on Twitter by reporter Nicole Yang, Gronkowski confirms to a different reporter his belief that he will be playing on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The tight end also joked with reporters about missing media duties due to his concussion. "You know something, I am," Gronkowski giggled when asked if he was glad to have skipped media requirements.

Reporter behind Gronk: “Are you playing, man? Are you playing?”
Gronk gives him a “Yeah.”

— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) January 31, 2018

With Super Bowl 52 against the Eagles now just four days away, Gronkowski still needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can take part in full-contact practice with the Patriots. He was on the field on Saturday for the first time since he was hit in the helmet by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church during the AFC Championship game on January 21. Gronkowski left the game at the end of the second quarter after getting up to his feet unsteadily and did not return.

While the Patriots can and have won without Gronkowski over the past few seasons during his absences with injury, they are a more effective and dangerous offense with him on the field. The Pro Bowler caught 69 passes for 1,084 yards during 14 regular-season games in 2017.