Dr. James Andrews has recommended that Rob Gronkowski not play Sunday against the Saints, according to a report from Pro Football Talk.

Gronkowski, who has not played this season after an offseason filled with multiple surgeries on his back and left forearm, sounded an optimistic note as to whether or not he’d be able to go this week. However, it now appears that Gronkowski will be inactive for his sixth consecutive game.

The Patriots announced Saturday they have signed first-year defensive lineman Marcus Forston to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the Patriots released defensive tackle Andre Neblett.

FOXBORO -- For the Patriots, decision day is looming when it comes to Brandon Spikes.



Defensive lineman Tommy Kelly and running back Leon Washington were ruled out by the Patriots Friday for Sunday’s game against the Saints. Kelly appeared to injure his knee in the second half of last Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, while Washington has been plagued by injuries for a sizable portion of the season — an ankle issue kept him out of practice all week.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Patriots and the Rob Gronkowski situation as well as other NFL news, incuding the controversy over the Redskins nickname.

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick gave a literal vote of confidence to team medical director Dr. Tom Gill in wake of Thursday night’s WEEI.com report that there was “serious concern” over his treatment and procedures on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

FOXBORO — Tommy Kelly and Leon Washington missed their third straight practice on Friday while linebacker Jamie Collins returned as the Patriots worked out in sweats and shells on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO -- Enough is enough.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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Rob Gronkowski may or may not play this weekend against the Saints. But the Patriots had expected him to play much sooner, a league source told WEEI.com.

The Patriots thought the Pro Bowl tight end would make his debut as soon as Week 3 against Tampa Bay.

However, Gronkowski did not make his debut on Sept. 22, and has yet to step on the field for his first snap of game action. The reason: concern over the stability of his surgically repaired left forearm after a procedure performed by Patriots doctor Tom Gill.

FOXBORO — Tommy Kelly and Leon Washington were again the only two injury-related absentees at practice on Thursday while Jamie Collins was not in attendance due to a non-injury issue. Rob Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley, Rob Ninkovich and Danny Amendola were again among 11 Patriots listed as limited at the sweats and shells workout in Foxboro as the team continued preparations for the Saints Sunday at Gillette Stadium.