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Reports: Ex-Patriots star Rob Gronkowski won’t join Tampa Bay Buccaneers for game at New England – USA TODAY

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Mike Brehm   | USA TODAY

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Though quarterback Tom Brady’s return to New England on Sunday night is drawing all of the attention, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski had also been scheduled to have a reunion against the Patriots.

But that won’t happen, according to multiple reports.

ESPN reported that Gronkowski isn’t traveling to New England because of a rib injury suffered during last weekend’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.

He had been listed as doubtful on the Buccaneers’ injury report on Friday.

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Gronkowski played nine seasons for the Patriots, racking up 7,861 receiving yards and 79 touchdowns as Brady’s favorite target, earning three Super Bowl titles and five Pro Bowl selections.

He retired in 2019 but came out of retirement last season and joined Brady in Tampa Bay after a trade. Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes in the Buccaneers’ 31-9 Super Bowl 55 win against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gronkowski, 32, has 16 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns this season. He was hit hard by Rams linebacker Terrell Lewis in the Buccaneers’ Week 3 34-24 loss but returned to the game.

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