FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (ESPNBoston.com) — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to practice Friday for the first time since breaking his forearm Nov. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Gronkowski, who did not participate in Wednesday’s walk-through session or Thursday’s practice in light shoulder pads, joined his teammates for Friday’s in-stadium workout but was limited. Reporters were in the locker room immediately after Friday’s practice, and when they entered, Gronkowski’s chair at his locker was already folded up, suggesting he had not completed practice with his teammates.
Even if Gronkowski suits up Sunday, which is considered a long shot, it’s unlikely he would play a major role.
The exact recovery time following Gronkowski’s surgery for the injury was unknown at the time of the procedure, and it remains unclear when he will return to game action. Earlier this week, coach Bill Belichick classified the third-year tight end’s status as day to day.
In total, a season-high 19 Patriots were listed as questionable for Sunday, including cornerback Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), both of whom were injured Monday night against the Houston Texans.
Offensive tackle Nate Solder was added to Friday’s injury report as limited with an abdomen injury. He is also listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game.
The Patriots did have the entire active roster on the field for Friday’s practice for the first time since early in the regular season.