The New England Patriots didn't need Rob Gronkowski when they dominated the Houston Texans last month.
Now he's back. And that makes the Texans' task even tougher in Sunday's divisional playoff game.
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said Thursday that it's always good to have Gronkowski on the field. It's even better when he's out there with their other star tight end, Aaron Hernandez.
They played together in just five games this season. Hernandez missed six of the first ten with a sprained right ankle. Then, Gronkowski missed the next five with a broken left forearm before returning for limited action in the regular-season finale, a 28-0 win over the Miami Dolphins in which he caught two passes, one for a 23-yard touchdown.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL