The 24-year-old's agent confirmed yesterday that he has received medical clearance to play his first game since undergoing forearm and back surgeries during the off-season.
The New York Jets head coach told reporters: "It doesn't change one bit. Like we said from day one, I assumed he'd play. I'm assuming [quarterback Tom] Brady's going to play. But that's how much we assumed this guy was going to play.
"I don't know if they were saving him for us, or whatever, but I had a funny feeling he was going to play. After that first game, I thought for sure he'd play against us in the second game.
"With Gronkowski, like I said, we figured he was playing, so it's not going to make our jobs any easier, that's for sure. Like I said, we did anticipate him playing."
Gronkowski is the only member of the Patriots' top five receivers from 2012 to remain with the team this season.