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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is reportedly expected to play in 2018

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According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the NFL's best tight end will return.

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Following the New England Patriots’ loss in Super Bowl LII, one of the biggest stories was Rob Gronkowski being non-committal about his future in the NFL. After the title game, the league's premier tight end was telling reporters that he would have to take a look at his future during the offseason. Well, it looks as if his reflection has yielded at a result – and it is expected to be a positive one for the Patriots.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski is expected to return to the team this season:

The expectation is that #Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will return for 2018 after pondering his future, I’m told. He may never make a grand announcement, but the belief is entertainment opportunities (acting WWE) will wait.

This obviously is great news for New England, coming only one day after NBC Boston's Tom Curran reported that Gronkowski started thinking about retirement as early as last year's training camp. This story was the latest in a series of speculation about the 28-year old's future in the NFL. Now, it seems as if this question has been answered and the Patriots will not have to worry about losing their best skill position player to premature retirement.