Gronkowski sat out the Patriots' joint practices with the Washington Redskins last week as well as New England's preseason game Thursday, instead staying in New England to work with trainers and rest. He hasn't yet been cleared for contact, but said everything has been going well so far.
"I'm not out here running routes or anything at 80 percent as you can see. I'm just running out there going full speed in the drills, but they are just limiting drills I can do from the contact," Gronkowski said. "When I can start getting contact, I will ease into it a little bit, but most likely when I get cleared to do contact, it will be full go, too."
After undergoing surgery to repair the ACL in his right knee in January, Gronkowski was cleared to return in July. He said then he expected to be back for the Patriots' season opener Sept. 7, but somewhat backed off that stance Sunday, saying he "can't think ahead."
Gronkowski has been limited to just 18 games the past two seasons due to the ACL tear and forearm and back injuries. In 2011, Gronkowski set records for most receiving yards (1,327) and touchdowns (17) by a tight end in a season.
He had 592 receiving yards and four touchdowns in seven games last season.
- Ben Estes