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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski says he'll play in 2018

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

BOSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski says he is returning for his ninth NFL season.

Gronkowski made the announcement in a post on Instagram Tuesday . Gronkowski said he met with coach Bill Belichick to inform him of his intention to return, adding he's "been working out, staying in shape and feel great."

Gronk previously hinted at considering retirement following New England's Super Bowl loss to the Eagles in February.

He appeared in 14 games during the 2017 season and led the team in receiving with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

Gronkowski was knocked out of last season's AFC championship game with a concussion, but was able to return in time for the Super Bowl. He missed the Patriots' 2017 Super Bowl win over Atlanta after undergoing back surgery.

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Updated April 24, 2018

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