Ivan Fears watches Rob Gronkowski work out. (Stephan Savoia / AP)

After weeks of tantalizingly being described as “likely” to play and then not playing, this time New England Patriots tight end end Rob Gronkowski is expected to play Sunday.

Gronkowski has missed the first five games of the season as he recovers from back surgery and Pro Football Talk reports that he will be cleared to play against the New Orleans Saints in Gillette Stadium.

Since last fall, Gronkowski battled a number of injuries. He has undergone multiple surgeries on a broken arm and to excise infection from the site. That infection caused back surgery to be postponed.

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