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“He’s also been a big target for them in the red zone,” Coyle said. “If he plays, and how much he plays, we don’t know how much that will be, that’s not going to change what we do.”

Gronkowski says he doesn’t expect to play “every single snap” Sunday, but is ready for “whatever the coaches have.”

“It’s been long and tiring for sure,” he said. “But you just got to be patient and everything comes along well. That’s the way I’ve been - just keep working hard and it will all come.”

Last week, the Patriots traded veteran guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay for tight end Tim Wright, who has been added to provide depth.

“So far, he’s been working hard. It’s been great seeing him improving every single day, learning everything, and it’s always fun with a new guy that wants to work hard,” Gronkowski said.

NOTES: WR Josh Boyce, cut Saturday, was one of 10 players signed to the taxi squad, a list that includes DL Charley Hughlett, who is being signed for the second time as a long snapper after the release of Danny Aiken. DE-LB Rob Ninkovich is currently the only long snapper on the roster. … Also re-signed were DL Jake Bequette, LBs Ja’Gared Davis and Deontae Skinner, S Kanorris Davis, RB Jonas Gray, OL Chris Martin and DB Daxton Swanson. The club also added quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, last with San Francisco.