Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski cleared from concussion protocol, 'ready to roll'

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared from the concussion protocol, he confirmed Thursday.

"I officially got the word today that I was cleared, so it was super nice to hear from the doctors going through the whole process," he said. "I'm ready to roll."

Gronkowski said he had no doubt that he would be ready for Super Bowl LII, crediting the team's medical staff and noting it was a cautious approach.

"That definitely helped out big-time," he said. "Just did every step, every day, and everything went smooth. ... I knew it was going to happen. It was just when."

Gronkowski said he did everything in practice and will be "full go" in the Super Bowl. Gronkowski had been diagnosed with a concussion in the AFC Championship Game after Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church was defending a pass in Gronkowski's direction and Church's helmet made contact with Gronkowski's helmet. Church was later fined $24,309 for the hit.

Asked if he felt the hit was dirty, Gronkowski said Thursday, "It's football. It is what it is. It's a split second to make a decision. It's running full speed one way -- I'm going the other way. It's just part of the game. It happens, and just got to move on."

Gronkowski said the difference between this situation and others in which he came back from injury was that the concussion "was less on the body" and required "more patience."

Gronkowski also had been diagnosed with a concussion in 2013 on a hit by safety T.J. Ward in which he tore an ACL.

"I really couldn't compare [this] to that one because [of] what [else] happened on that play, too. Your whole body was [affected]," he said.