Rob Gronkowski catches TD in return

New England Patriotsstar tight end Rob Gronkowskiwas active and in the starting lineup Sunday night against Houston Texans after missing last week's game with a sprained knee.

Gronkowski, who had been listed as questionable, made an immediate impact in his return, hauling in a 45-yard reception in the first quarter and making a leaping 1-yard touchdown catch with 14 seconds left before halftime.

Gronkowski didn't go through any formal pregame test on the field with the athletic training staff or medical staff but was wearing a brace over his right knee during warmups. He returned to practice Thursday for the first time since injuring the knee on Nov. 29 against the Denver Broncos.

The Patriots are trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2002.

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