UPDATE, Friday, 4:15: Rob Gronkowski participated in an hour-long walk-through and his status for the game was listed as questionable on the team’s official injury report. According to a pool report, he moved without limping during the walk-through.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said Friday that tight end Gronkowski was “okay this morning” after participating in portions of Thursday’s practice.
It was Gronkowski’s first practice participation since suffering an ankle injury in the AFC title game.
Belichick, in his final news conference before Sunday’s Super Bowl, expressed optimism that Gronkowski will be able to play against the New York Giants. Belichick stopped short of saying that Gronkowski would play but said the condition of the tight end’s ankle is improving.
“We’re certainly moving in the right direction,” Belichick said. “He’s getting better on a daily basis.”
Belichick, 59, avoided directly answering a question about whether another Super Bowl victory could lead him to contemplate retirement in a triumphant exit from the sport, saying: “I enjoy all the aspects of the job…. Right now I’m really focused on the game.”
The precision of Belichick’s preparation methods was evident this week when he had the Patriots simulate the extended Super Bowl halftime during Wednesday’s practice. Belichick paused that practice and then re-started it.
“It’s like a doubleheader in baseball, if you will,” he said Friday.
Belichick also made a Hall of Fame case for his former coaching boss, Bill Parcells, who is among the finalists for election in Saturday’s vote.
“I can’t imagine him being left out of that group,” Belichick said.
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