Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mankins glad to have Gronkowski back in the mix


New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is cleared to play, according to coach Bill Belichick.

Gronk avoided the Physically Unable to Perform list for the start of training camp, and it appears the rehab of the torn ACL he sustained last December is moving along. That's music to his teammates' ears as the squad prepares to take the practice field this week.

"We were all hoping Gronk would have a good recovery. So far he has," Patriots guard Logan Mankins said Wednesday, via "We'll just see where he is and how good he is right now. It's great to have him out there."

Gronkowski will undoubtedly be eased slowly into action, as New England would much prefer to set him loose when the plays count for real in six weeks. Mankins is looking forward to getting arguably the team's biggest difference-maker--on a few different fronts--back in the mix.

"He's a dynamic blocker. He does a great job in the blocking," Mankins said. "And he's a big target for Tom [Brady] to get the ball to and he gets open. Any time you can have Gronk on the field it's good."

Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily