Extra Points

Rob Gronkowski Observations From First Practice of Training Camp

FOXBOROUGH -- There's a lot of interest in Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and how he has recovered from his right knee injury.

Gronkowski participated in Thursday's Patriots practice, the first of the team's training camp at Gillette Stadium after being cleared to play. He wore a knee brace for the session, but it didn't appear to hinder him.

During individual position group drills, Gronkowski showed that he still had top notch speed.

Of note:

- Gronkowski was able to cut and plant on his right knee with little to no problem. There isn't any reason to believe, save for the lack of pads, that his knee is strong enough to handle the rigors of moving in and out of routes.

- The burly tight end had to use his right leg to push off on a number of routes as well, and it became clear that this where his difficulties lie, when he has to put his full weight on the leg to accelerate.

- As practice wore on, there appeared to be some stiffness. And he did not take part in 7-on-7s or 11-on-11s against the team's defense.

He could have been held out of team drills for precautionary purposes. We'll know more in the days to come, particularly on Saturday when the Patriots practice in pads for the first time.

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