Star tight end
Meanwhile, the news hardly caught the
"I'm super excited," said Gronkowski, who didn't play in any of the four preseason games as he completed his recovery from December right knee surgery. "I won't have to see my teammates grind all week – [I'll] go back out there with them, get in the huddle, break the huddle with them.
"It's going to be an honor to be back out there with my teammates. Super pumped, super excited and just preparing for the game."
The pronouncement came as a bit of a surprise in a locker room not known for players "breaking news."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm just getting it out of the way there," Gronkowski said. "Every single day this week [he would have been asked about returning] — get it out of the way now."
"It just feels good in my mind to know that I'll be out there with my boys, working hard, grinding with them, being out there."
The Patriots are 6-0 when Gronkowski plays against the Dolphins, but Miami has kept him in check of late. In his last two games against Miami he had only only four catches.
"He's an excellent player," Philbin said Monday. "He's been a very, very productive player throughout his career. We'll have a good plan in place, but he's certainly an important part of their offense, and a productive part of it. We'll be ready for him, for sure."
Gronkowski, who tore his right ACL anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament l Dec. 8, is a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 2011. He has 226 catches with 42 touchdowns in 50 regular-season games. Last season, coming off multiple surgeries and an arm infection, he appeared in seven games, catching 39 passes, four for touchdowns, before going down on a hit by safety
Welker returns to practice
Welker's concussion was his third in 10 months. He got hurt on a hard hit from D.J. Swearinger that prompted
Welker caught 73 passes for 778 yards and a career-high 10 touchdowns last season despite missing the last 31/2 games. He also had 18 grabs for 160 yards and a TD in the playoffs.
The Titans, who earlier Monday announced they had agreed to terms with linebacker
The Titans had kept Travis Coons, out of Washington, over Maikon Bonani in the final cuts after cutting
Newton smiled and even stopped to pose for a picture Monday with his newly enhanced armor before walking into practice, throwing passes and going through drills as normal.
It was the Newton's first practice since Aug. 22, when he had his ribs stepped on during a preseason game against the New England Patriots.