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New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski's Return Creates Big Opportunities on Offense for Tom Brady

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New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski's Return Creates Big Opportunities on Offense for Tom Brady
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Rob Gronkowski. Photo by Angie Six.

COMMENTARY | The speculation is finally over; New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared by his doctors to play in Week 7 against the New York Jets.

According to a report by NBC Sports' Mike Florio, sports agent Drew Rosenhaus, who announced on WQAM radio on Thursday that Gronkowski had not yet been cleared to play, has stated that Gronkowski has been cleared by his team of doctors, including the world-renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, to play on Sunday.

The news of Gronkowski's return ends more than six weeks of speculation and couldn't come sooner for New England quarterback Tom Brady and a Patriots' offense that currently has one of the worst-performing passing attacks in the league.

Six games into the 2013 regular season, New England is currently ranked 26th in passing completion percentage, 28th in passing yards per attempt, 28th in yards per catch, 22nd in quarterback rating and a disappointing 18th in passing touchdowns.

After an offseason and preseason that included the departure of important 2012 offensive weapons Danny Woodhead, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez, Tom Brady has struggled to find a consistent rhythm relying on rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.

Although Dobson and Thompkins have improved over the past two weeks, Brady has still yet to find an answer to the team's continued poor performance in the red zone. With the return of Gronkowski, the Patriots will finally have the big end zone target they have been looking for since the start of the season, a development which should create big problems for the 3-3 New York Jets in an important game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

You can watch the New England Patriots take on the New York Jets on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. EST on CBS.

Don't agree with me? Tell me why I am wrong on Twitter @THATCelticsGuy

Justin Haskins is a New England native and a freelance journalist. He has been obsessively following Boston professional sports for 10 years and has been published in numerous online publications and websites.

Statistics provided by Pro-football-reference.com and ESPN.com.

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