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Rob Gronkowski absent for first Patriots Super Bowl practice

Rob Gronkowski

The New England Patriots held their first practice for Super Bowl LII on Thursday, and one notable name was absent. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a concussion, did not practice.

On Tuesday, Gronkowski expressed optimism about playing in the Super Bowl. But as of Wednesday, Gronk was still in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

The good news for the Patriots and Gronkowski is that time is on their side. With the bye week, Gronkowski still has more than a week to get out of the concussion protocol and back on the field. Until he is cleared, though, this will be one of Super Bowl LII’s most dominant storylines.