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Belichick: Gronkowski to practice next week

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did not make the trip this week to participate in joint practices with the Washington Redskins, though Bill Belichick told Scott Zolak on 98.5 The Sports Hub that Gronkowski will be back on the field next week.

"I expect that we will see him back on the field next week against Philadelphia [Eagles] working like he did before we left there and hopefully continue to make good progress," Belichick said before the Patriots' first preseason game during an interview with Scott Zolak.

Throughout training camp, the Patriots' staff has slowly eased Gronkowski back to action. He mainly takes part in individual drills, but takes a lot reps with quarterback Tom Brady while cornerback Darrelle Revis shadowed Gronkowski's routes.

Belichick likes Gronkowski's progress and also said the tight end had a good week of practice last week in Foxborough.

"This week was an opportunity for him to re-up the treatments and less on the field work," Belichick said. Belichick applauded Gronkowski's hard work and dedication in the team facilities to reach this point, but knows that the tight end still has work to do. When Gronkowski returns to the practice field next week it will be interesting to see if he participates in team drills against Philadelphia.