Gronkowski (back, ankle) returns to practice Thursday

The New England Patriots welcomed back tight end Rob Gronkowski ahead of Monday night’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Gronkowski, who did not play in Week 7 because of back and ankle injuries, was on the field Thursday participating in the stretching and conditioning portion of practice open to the media, NFL Network’s Michael Giardi reported.

Gronk, Deatrich Wise and Marcus Cannon make their return to practice. The video is so awful it’s great. #Patriots No sign of Eric Rowe and Sony Michel.

Gronkowski’s participation level, however, won’t be clear until the Patriots release the daily practice and injury report later in the afternoon.

Also returning to the practice field were offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) and defensive end Deatrich Wise (ankle/knee), Giardi reported.

Rookie running back Sony Michel (knee) and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) were not present. Michel suffered a knee injury in Week 7, but it isn’t considered serious.

James White is in line for a bigger role on offense while Michel is on the mend.

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