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Patriots' Gronkowski expects to play in Super Bowl

Gronkowski left the AFC Championship game with concussion symptoms.
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots drops a pass before being hit by Barry Church #42 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski says he expects to play in Sunday's Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.

VIDEO: Rob Gronkowski tells the media he expects to play in Super Bowl LII

#BREAKING @RobGronkowski says he will play Sunday in #SBLII. @Bos25Sports @boston25 pic.twitter.com/PwHaz9erWe

— Adam Liberatore (@bostonTVguy) January 31, 2018

Gronkowski has been in the league's concussion protocol after taking a hit from Jacksonville's Barry Church in the AFC championship game. He made his first public appearance on Tuesday night while playing former teammate and current Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount in a game of "Madden 18" at the Mall of America.

►STORIES: Check out NEWSCENTERmaine.com's Super Bowl section

Gronkowski said he's still in the concussion protocol and would leave his status up to those in charge of making medical decisions.

"Hopefully by (Wednesday)," he said. "We'll see how it goes. I'm not the guy to say I'm out of the protocol. That's the doctors' calls."

Gronkowski led the Patriots with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He missed last year's Super Bowl win against Atlanta because of a back injury.

Blount, who won two Super Bowls with Gronkowski and the Patriots before joining the Eagles, dominated his virtual matchup on Xbox in front of a packed crowd of Patriots fans at a Microsoft store. They left disappointed as Blount led his Eagles to a 33-13 win over Patriots.

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