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Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski expected to participate in New England’s offseason program

According to Tom Curran, the NFL’s best tight end should be ready when the Patriots start preparing for the 2017 season.

The New England Patriots are relatively healthy heading into the playoffs. However, they are missing their most dominant offensive skill position player: Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been placed on season-ending injured reserve after hurting his back in week 12.

While he will not be back on the football field this season, Gronkowski is expected to be back by the time New England begins its offseason workout program; at least according to CSNNE’s Tom Curran:

.@RobGronkowski expected to participate in #Patriots' offseason program - @TomECurran

This is encouraging news for both the Patriots and Gronkowski, who has a history of back issues. After already undergoing back procedures in 2009 and 2013, the 27-year old was back under the knife in November.

While New England’s offense has still been among the NFL’s without Gronkowski – mainly due to very good depth across the board – there is no denying the unit is much harder to defend with him in the lineup. If all goes well, and Curran’s report is an early indication that it will, 2017 will see the return of the league’s best tight end to the field.