FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski was the only player not spotted as the team practiced in full pads in their final Foxboro practice of the season. The tight end missed his second straight day of practice with a left ankle injury, an injury his father told a Western New York TV station was a high ankle sprain. 

Gronkowski suffered the injury late in the third quarter against the Ravens when safety Bernard Pollard tackled him and fell on the ankle, twisting it beneath him. Gronkowski's father said the tight end will be "fine" to play in the game. 

The Patriots, as per their usual practice, have not been very forthcoming with details about the injury tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered in the AFC championship game.

According to Gronkowski's father, Gordy, the injury is a high ankle sprain. Speaking to Buffalo-area television station WIVB, the elder Gronk said he expects his son will be OK for the Super Bowl.

NFL analyst Michael Lombardi, in his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, suggested that the recent inconsistency of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suggests that it is Giants counterpart Eli Manning who is currently playing at the higher level. One week after he threw for six touchdowns in a divisional playoff game against the Broncos, Brady didn't throw for a touchdown while tossing two picks against the Ravens in the AFC championship game, something that Lombardi said was the byproduct of missed plays rather than Baltimore's defense.

Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco told the Associated Press that his season with the Patriots has been "humbling," but that he is ultimately happier to be going to the Super Bowl as a roster member of one of the participating teams rather than as a representative of the Ochocinco News Network.

Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty, in his weekly interview on the Dennis & Callahan show, suggested that the Giants team that the Patriots will face in Super Bowl XLVI is playing at a higher level than the one that beat New England, 24-20, in Week 9 of the regular season.

FOXBORO -- Over the course of the 2011 season, no Patriots’ skill position has seen more change than running back.



EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Giants coach Tom Coughlin met with the media following practice on Thursday and was asked about the problems presented by Rob Gronkowski. The 6'6, 265-pound tight end caught eight passes for 101 yards and a TD in the regular-season contest between the Patriots and Giants. 

FOXBORO -- The Patriots practice report for Thursday was the same as the "projected" report that was released on Wednesday, with tight end Rob Gronkowski being the only member of the 53-man roster who did not practice. Here's the complete rundown.

Did Not Practice
TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle)

Limited Participation
WR Deion Branch (knee)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (knee)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)
S James Ihedigbo (shoulder)
DL Kyle Love (ankle)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Former Boston College All-American and current Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich spoke to the media at his locker after practice Thursday. Herzlich, a cancer survivor, was asked about his journey to Super Bowl XLVI.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw were among those held out of practice for the Giants on Thursday.

Nicks injured his shoulder during in NFC championship game victory over the 49ers. Bradshaw has been limited with an injured foot for much of the season. Tom Coughlin said earlier this week that he expects both to play in the Super Bowl.

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