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Sportress of Blogitude

Happy Bill Belichick high-fived Rob Gronkowski at Patriots practice

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Bill Belichick obviously understands how important Rob Gronkowski is to the New England Patriots offense, but who knew it could elicit an uncharacteristic show of emotion from the typically stoic head coach?

The Boston Herald reports that Belichick was so excited to see his tight end return to practice on Thursday that he “marched up and down the jogging line” and even gave Gronkowski a high-five.

Gronkowski, who missed last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, missed all team practices last week and was held out of Wednesday’s full-pads practice after suffering a bone bruise and sprained right knee in the Patriots’ Nov. 29 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos. Considering how ugly the injury appeared, it’s encouraging for the team to see Gronkowski practicing again, albeit in a limited manner, so soon.

The tight end was wearing a protective sleeve/brace on his knee during the limited workout and his availability for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans is unclear. But given the nature of his workout only a few days before the game, it would arguably be remarkable to see Gronkowski suit up.

But that didn’t stop the usually unemotional Belichick from showing some enthusiasm to see his tight end making progress in his recovery. After all, given the struggles of the Patriots offense and how Gronkowski’s presence is critical to the team’s quick-hitting, precision passing game, any indication the tight end is nearing his return is worthy of enthusiasm.

And even a high-five from Belichick, apparently.

(image via FanSided)