Gronkowski clears concussion protocol, to meet media Thursday

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was cleared from concussion protocol 11 days after the jarring hit from Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church put the New England All-Pro's status in doubt for Super Bowl LII.

Clearing concussion protocol, which requires clearance from an independent neurologist, all but guarantees Gronkowski will play Sunday. He is officially listed as questionable.

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Gronkowski will be available to media for the first time this week Thursday when the Patriots are made available to reporters at 5:30 p.m. ET at Mall of America.

The hit from Church in the AFC Championship game drew a penalty and sent Gronkowski to the locker room for the rest of the game.

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Rob Gronkowski suffers concussion during AFC title game
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots drops a pass before being hit by Barry Church #42 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is hit by Barry Church #42 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is hit by Barry Church #42 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts after an injury after being hit by Barry Church #42 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts after an injury in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts after an injury in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) reacts after a hit by Jacksonville Jaguars strong safety Barry Church (not pictured) during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) lays on the field as Jacksonville Jaguars strong safety Barry Church (42) reacts during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski is taken to the locker room after a hit to his head during the second quarter. The New England Patriots host the Jacksonville Jaguars in an NFL AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on Jan. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after an injury in the second quarter during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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He practiced Wednesday but was limited after returning to the field with the team for partial workouts on the field last weekend.

--By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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