Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski cleared from concussion protocol, will play Sunday

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski answers questions Thursday. (AP)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Saying he never doubted he’d be able to play in Sunday’s Super Bowl, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was cleared from concussion protocol Thursday. He practiced in full for the first time since the Jaguars’ Barry Church hit him in the AFC title game.

“I was able to do everything I was asked to do out there on the field,” Gronkowski said. “So I’ll be ready to roll in the game. I’ll be full-go, ready to roll.”

Gronkowski had 69 catches for 1,084 yards during the regular season.

“I knew I was going to be playing the whole time,” Gronkowski said. “I was just obviously being cautious, too.”

No Kyle

Bears guard Kyle Long will not travel to Minneapolis to watch brother Chris play for the Eagles after having surgery Wednesday. Long did not specify the surgery, but said it was his last of the offseason; previously, he said he needed a shoulder operation.

“He’ll be watching,” Chris Long, a defensive end who won the Super Bowl with the Patriots last year, said Thursday. “I wouldn’t make him come to the game anyways. He loves his brother and doesn’t need to do that.”

Mack on Mitch

Eagles rookie receiver Mack Hollins, who played with quarterback Mitch Trubisky at North Carolina, said the Bears’ new offense fits his friend.

“I think the biggest thing is that he has such a great arm, and people don’t think he can run,” Hollins said. “When you have a good arm people immediately think you can’t run. Mitch has got both, and that’s one of his gifts.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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