MINNEAPOLIS -- The fiesta is on for Super Bowl LII, with Rob Gronkowski officially cleared to play for the Patriots on Sunday against the Eagles. No sources needed, as the tight end confirmed as much himself on Thursday afternoon.

"Everything," Gronk said when asked what he did at practice on Thursday. "I was cleared."

It's the obvious result of an injury situation that played out almost exactly as everyone expected. Gronk was not going to be cleared for the game if it was played the Sunday after the AFC Championship Game, but given two weeks, there was little doubt the mammoth tight end would be available for his good pal Tom Brady in the Patriots' lethal passing game. 

"It feels great," Gronk said of the news that he would play.

Not that it was in doubt. Gronk has not been available to the media for the first four days leading up to the Super Bowl, although he did find time to do some interviews after participating in a Microsoft/Xbox "Madden" event on Tuesday night.

The signs were clear: he would play. 

Gronk has caught at least six passes in all but two of his career playoff games (his over/under in Vegas is 5.5 catches, if you're interested in such things). He is a critical part of what the Patriots do, and he dramatically changes how the Eagles defense can match up with New England's offense. 

Bill Belichick was not exactly forthcoming shortly before Gronk met with the media, saying the Patriots would "put it on the injury report" depending on Gronk's status, even though everyone knew a clearance was en route. 

Gronkowski originally suffered a concussion late in the first half of the AFC Championship Game against the Jaguars. He wouldn't return, and it forced the Pats to adjust on offense. They're hoping he doesn't leave the field until the confetti comes raining down this time.