• FOXBORO, MA. - NOVEMBER 7: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski warms up during practice at Gillette Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Foxboro, . (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

  • Rob Gronkowski #12 of the New England Patriots cannot catch a pass during NFL game action as Matt Milano #58 of the Buffalo Bills defends at New Era Field on October 29, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski’s shot at a late-season breakthrough begins Sunday in the Meadowlands.

Gronkowski will be 27 days removed from his most recent game when the Patriots take on the Jets in Week 12, which means he’ll presumably be healthier than he’s been in months.

Ankle and back injuries have limited Gronkowski throughout the year. His numbers have steadily declined, prompting a Daily News columnist to declare Gronkowski “is a decrepit version of his former indestructible self.”

The Patriots don’t seem too concerned with the narrative.

“Once again, that is noise we don’t hear,” said receiver Julian Edelman. “I’m more worried about what I can do to help the team. Gronk is going to be Gronk.”

But will the Jets treat him like the Gronkowski of old?

The Patriots offense, while inconsistent, has a number of weapons in the passing game. Edelman hasn’t shown any signs of regression following an ACL tear; he’s averaging 71 receiving yards per game, the second-best mark of his career. Josh Gordon is a special talent on the perimeter. And James White has developed into one of the league’s finest pass-catching backs.

As Bill Belichick would say, you can’t double-team everybody.

Opponents must concede some one-on-one matchups against the Patriots. Given Gronkowski’s struggles this season, it’s reasonable to believe that defenses will prioritize other pass-catchers like Edelman and Gordon.

Jets coach Todd Bowles still seems concerned about covering Gronkowski, however.

“He’ll be a game-breaking talent until he retires,” Bowles said. “That’s the only time you don’t have to worry about him.

“He can block, he can beat corners, safeties and linebackers, so it doesn’t matter who he goes against. He’s just a well-rounded player. He’s a very intelligent player. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being a smart player. He understands what’s trying to be done to him and he makes adjustments and tweaks so it makes him a tough cover.”

Like most AFC East foes, the Jets have had zero answers for Gronkowski through the years. The perennial All-Pro tight end averages 85.4 receiving yards per game at MetLife Stadium (not including a 2016 game when he left in the first quarter with a back injury that eventually ended his season). He dominated in his most recent visit to North Jersey, torching Jets safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“Rob is an outstanding player,” Adams told The NFL Network in the offseason. “I call him the Larry Bird of football because he does the little things the right way and he uses his body well. The first week, it was Week 4 or 5, you know he scored two touchdowns on me, I was young.”

Adams indicated he “did not prepare the right way” leading up to the first game against Gronkowski. In the second meeting last year, Adams held Gronkowski without a catch and target. But that was a throwaway Week 17 game for the Patriots, who may have been playing it safe with Gronk and preserving him for the playoffs.

It’s a totally different scenario this weekend. The Patriots desperately want to get Gronk rolling.

Since Indianapolis’ Eric Ebron caught four passes for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Jets, Adams and Co. have erased opposing tight ends. In their past four games, the Jets have limited tight ends to a combined five receptions for 35 yards. That stretch includes complete shutdowns against talented players such as Chicago’s Trey Burton and Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph.

Gronkowski, of course, is a different animal.

The Jets are bracing for the same old Gronk. The Patriots are crossing their fingers that Gronkowski returns to top form for the final stretch, starting this weekend.