Cone of silence broken by Gronk's dad

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots celebrates

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots celebrates his touchdown in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. (Dec. 4, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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FOXBORO, Mass. -- Just about everyone knows injuries are a hush-hush topic in Bill Belichick's world.

But apparently, one member of Rob Gronkowski's family didn't get the memo.

Gordy Gronkowski, father of the injured Patriots tight end, told a Buffalo TV station Friday that his son has a high ankle sprain but will play in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants.

The Patriots have yet to disclose the extent of the injury and Gronkowski -- like all other injured players under Belichick's watch -- has not been in the locker room all week.

No one dared to speculate about Gronkowski's injury, nor would players even allow themselves to consider the possibility that the 22-year-old -- whose 17 touchdown catches set an NFL single-season record for tight ends -- could miss the biggest game of the season.

"I'm not speaking on that," running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis said.

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Said former Jet Danny Woodhead: "You know, that's not something that I really worry about. I'm not thinking about that. That's something you probably have to ask Coach."

Though it's much too early to predict Gronkowski's status for the Feb. 5 Super Bowl, high ankle sprains may require much more time to heal. Last year, Steelers Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey was forced to miss the Super Bowl after suffering a high ankle sprain in the AFC Championship Game against the Jets. He initially had told reporters, "I know in my heart, I'm playing in that game."

Gronkowski, who sprained his left ankle in the AFC title game against Baltimore, missed his second straight practice Friday and was the only Patriot who did not partake in the first pads practice of the week. He was listed as questionable on the projected injury report, which the team is required to release.

According to The Boston Globe, he might require arthroscopic surgery to clean up the injury after the Super Bowl. But his teammates did everything they could to avoid talking about his injury and its potential impact on the team.

"The thing is, everyone has to do their job," receiver Deion Branch said. "I'm going to go out and do my job, everybody else is going to do their job . . . We don't know what's what. Nobody knows the status of anybody. We have a week left . . . Whatever the game plan is, we're going to go out and execute it."

When told that Gronkowski's father was the one who spilled the beans to the media, Branch couldn't help but laugh.

"That's what his dad said?" he asked in between giggles. "When did he say that? For real? That's good. I guess he knows. I don't know. I don't know what Gronk has."

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