Gronk absent, Brady limited as Patriots hold first practice ahead of Super Bowl

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - Star tight end Rob Gronkowski was not accounted for Thursday when the New England Patriots hit the practice field for the first time in preparation for Super Bowl LII.

While Gronkowski’s injury is a concern as he goes through the NFL’s concussion protocol, the Patriots know they must stay focused on getting ready for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.

“I think that’s each guy’s responsibility to prepare and know as much as you can and go out there and execute,” center David Andrews said.

With the hoopla awaiting them in Minnesota next week, the Patriots are doing everything possible to keep things normal this week.

“You just try to stay in your routine as best as you can, and you know prepare,” Andrews said. “This isn’t a bye week. You just prepare like you’re playing on Sunday.”

In New England, having an opportunity to play on the final Sunday of the NFL season is something that’s not taken for granted.

“Everyone in my family has an appreciation for how hard the guys work around here, how special it is to be able to make it to this game, understanding that you know guys go their entire careers and don’t get a chance to play in this game, let alone play in the playoffs,” Matthew Slater said.

When the team released their official injury report following practice, Tom Brady was listed as a limited participant with a hand injury, in addition to Gronk being out with a concussion.

View the team’s full injury report below:

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