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Rob Gronkowski officially back following career-high 162 yards receiving in win over Bengals

10.16.16 at 6:46 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski was outstanding in the Patriots' win over the Bengals. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski was outstanding in the Patriots’ win over the Bengals. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Through three games this season, Rob Gronkowski wasn’t well, Rob Gronkowski.

Entering Sunday’s game against the Bengals, the big tight end had just six catches for 120 yards on the season, as he was working his way back to 100 percent following a hamstring injury suffered in training camp.

After Sunday’s 33-13 win over the Bengals, it’s clear Gronkowski is back.

The 27-year-old caught seven passes for a career-high 162 yards and a touchdown.

“Good to go,” Gronkowski said after the game. “It feels good to go out there and just be with the team. What’s special about that is that we got the win, and they’re more important for sure. It’s cool that I got the career-high and everything, but most important to me is getting that win, and that was a great team win overall.”

Gronkowski started to get more involved last week against the Browns, but took it to the next level Sunday against the Bengals. Being able to practice was the biggest key, according to the tight end.

“Just being able to practice and being healthy and having two wheels under me and going out there and seeing all the guys work throughout the practices when I wasn’t there,” he said. “It makes me want to get out there, it makes me want to work hard in my rehab, which I was. I was doing everything possible to get back to where I needed to get back to. When you see the guys, when you’re down and out and you’re not playing and you see the guys working hard non-stop, it makes you want to work hard in rehab and get back out on the field, and then when you get back on to the field, to get back into the shape I was in at the beginning of camp. Just seeing my teammates go hard, it makes me want to go, and it makes me want to go just for myself, too. Just for the love of the game.”

The Patriots are now 5-1, but have two big games coming up on the road against the Steelers and Bills in the next two weeks.

“Every single week, week in and week out is a tough schedule in the NFL,” Gronkowski said. “It doesn’t matter who you play, but we definitely have a big game coming up next week going away at the Steelers. I’ve got to say just enjoy this one for a couple of hours. I mean the game just ended so enjoy it but when the page turns tomorrow it’s always focused right on to the next game. It’s a one-week schedule. Every team is good and you’ve got to prepare fully every single week.”

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