Pats may still preserve Gronkowski for playoffs

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Pats may still preserve Gronkowski for playoffs

FOXBORO - Rob Gronkowski is ready to play Sunday against the Dolphins.Whether or not he does play is a different story, according to a source. Saturday, I received word -- and reported --that the Patriots tight end, who's missed five games with a broken forearm, would play in a limited capacity in the regular-season finale. But Sunday, I was told that the initial plan to keep Gronk out of harm's way until the postseason may still be in effect.Gronkowski participated more extensively in practices this week and also met with the media, two signals that he would play. Bill Belichick said that Gronkowski's availability was a medical decision, not a coaching one. Of course, once a player moves from being a medical decision, it becomes a coaching call. We reported earlier in December that the Patriots would keep Gronk down until the playoffs. The decision on that, it seems, will be drawn out a bit.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.