Sunday October 20, 2013 | 12:43 PM

Sorry for the delay, but I was at church when it was announced that tight end Rob Gronkowski would be active for the first time this season for today's game against the New York Jets.

So what's it mean?

Well, it would be unrealistic to expect Gronkowski to play 50-plus plays this week, although he has been saying he is in great shape. Regardless of how many plays he gets, Gronkowski is going to open the offense up for everyone else.

The Jets are going to have to pay attention to him in the middle of the field, which will open up the outside for the Patriots rookie receivers, Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, as well as veterans Julian Edelman and Austin Collie, who has become a trusted target already.

It will also help the running game. The Jets held the Patriots to just 54 yards rushing in the first game between the two, won by New England 13-10 on Sept. 12. His presence will change that. Not only is Gronkowski an excellent blocker, but the Jets can sell out completely on the run defense anymore.

All in all, you should see a change in the Patriots offense.

By the way, Maine's own Matthew Mulligan is still active for the game, which means the tight end is likely going to hang around for a while.

Enjoy the game.

About this Blog

Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.

He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.

Previous entries

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

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