The New England Patriots will be without star tight end Rob Gronkowski for at least four weeks, according to beat writer Greg Bedard. Gronk broke his forearm in yesterday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, and it is a crushing injury for the Patriots and definitely makes the 59-24 drubbing of Indy bittersweet.
Gronkowski is set to undergo surgery this morning, and it will be interesting to see if Gronk can come back before the season finishes. The usual timetable for the injury is four to six weeks, so the maximum amount of games that he will likely be able to take part in is two. The Patriots will be less willing to rush him back, because they rushed back Aaron Hernandez from his ankle injury and that did not end out well for either party.
Losing Gronkowski is a huge blow for the Pats, because it also puts a ton of pressure on Hernandez to return this Thanksgiving against the New York Jets- the same team he re-injured his ankle against. Gronk has been the second-most important player on offense behind Tom Brady, because he has been the best pass-catching and blocking TE this season. He’s one of the best players in the NFL and showed it yesterday before getting injured by catching all seven of the passes thrown at him for a total of 137 yards. That’s insane. That’s nearly 20 yards per target.
If Gronk is able to return in Week 16 or 17, then he will be limited in the offense and might only partake in blocking duties; at least initially. But the Patriots will be able to get him before the playoffs start.
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