Gronkowski cleared, but status not
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is finally cleared to play, although his status for Sunday's game at the New York Jets remains the same as it has been throughout the season — questionable.
Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, sent a text message to media outlets Friday, writing: "Rob has now been cleared by all his doctors to play Sunday in the Jets game."
Gronkowski, who has had offseason back surgery and four operations to repair a broken forearm, has been practicing for several weeks but has not played in a game this season because he was waiting to get clearance from doctors to play.
That finally happened Friday.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said only that Gronkowski will appear on the injury report. Gronkowski has been listed as questionable throughout the season, and that was the case again Friday.
Gronkowski's playing status has been controversial. Rosenhaus said Thursday that the tight end had not been cleared by team doctors, including Dr. James Andrews, whom the Patriots hired as an independent physician. Multiple reports last week said Gronkowski's unwillingness to play was causing a rift in the locker room.
However, quarterback Tom Brady disputed that this week, saying there was no issue with Gronkowski and other players and the team knows he will play "when he's ready."
--WR Danny Amendola (groin/concussion) was ruled out for Sunday's game. Amendola has been dealing with the groin since Week 1, but was knocked out of last Sunday's game against New Orleans on a hit to the head at the end of a run.
--DT Tommy Kelly has been ruled out for the second consecutive week due to a knee injury.
--RB Leon Washington did not practice on Friday as he continues to deal with an ankle injury that has bothered him for two weeks and has been ruled out.
--CB Aqib Talib (hip) was listed as doubtful Friday and is not expected to play against the Jets, although he was seen practicing in shells Friday morning.
--RB Brandon Bolden was once against limited in practice with a knee injury.
--OT Marcus Cannon (shoulder) is listed as questionable.
--G Dan Connolly did not practice on Wednesday with a concussion suffered in the first half of last Sunday's game against New Orleans and is listed as questionable.
--WR Julian Edelman (thigh) is listed as questionable.
--TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) is listed as questionable.
--WR Matthew Slater (broken wrist) continues to be limited in practice and is questionable.
--DB Tavon Wilson (hamstring) was limited in practice on Friday, having missed the last two games with the injury, and is questionable.
--CB Devin McCourty (shoulder) is listed as probable.
--DB Kyle Arrington (groin) was listed as full participation on Friday and is possible.
--DE Rob Ninkovich (groin) participated fully in practice on Friday and will play Sunday.