New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady discussed the status of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who joined teammates in Saturday's practice (Jan. 27) for the first time this week after suffering a concussion in the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gronkowski suffered a concussion in the first half and was ruled out of the game in the second half. He missed Thursday and Friday’s practices (Jan. 25-26), before he joined Saturday’s practice, an encouraging sign that he could play in Super Bowl LII on February 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It is always great to have him out there," Tom Brady said Saturday, per Brady also called Gronkowski a great player, great person and a great teammate, adding that he is a big part of the Patriots’ success. “He’s doing the best he can do and we’re all hopeful,” said Brady, referring to Gronkowski’s status for Super Bowl LII.

Gronkowski, who tallied 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season, will play an important role as the Eagles have had issues dealing with tight ends. In the regular season, the Eagles yielded 73 catches for 745 yards and five touchdowns to opponents’ tight ends. In addition to his toughness, Brady said Gronkowski’s outstanding and positive personality rubs off on his teammates in a great way.

Brady mum on ‘Tom vs Time’

Brady also declined to discuss his documentary "Tom vs. Time," which premiered Thursday on Facebook Watch, garnering more than seven million views. The next four episodes of the documentary will air before next Sunday’s Super Bowl LII, while one will air at a later date. When asked if the documentary will be a distraction to the team’s preparation, Brady declined to answer, saying the Patriots will stick to football this week.

“So, I like that no distractions part. Thank you,” said Brady. The documentary, which provides an intimate look inside the life of Brady, will continue airing on January 28 (Chapter 2), January 30 (Chapter 3), February 1 (Chapter 4), and February 4 (Chapter 5). The airing of the last chapter is yet to be announced.

Defensive lineman also returns to practice

Aside from Gronkowski, defensive lineman Deatrich Wise also returned to practice after missing the first two sessions this week with concussions. With Wise’s return, only defensive lineman Malcom Brown has yet to practice for the Patriots this week. Brown suffered an ankle injury in the AFC title game. Brady also practiced without a glove on his throwing hand. The Patriots will have another practice on Sunday before departing for Minnesota on Monday (Jan. 29).