If it is beginning to feel like the New England Patriots having to make deep postseason runs without a healthy Rob Gronkowski is becoming a regular thing, it is probably because that is exactly what has been happening.
For the second time in as many years Tom Brady will not have his ultra-talented, bro of all bros tight end as an at-full-strength receiving option in the AFC championship game. Only this time, unlike last year, Gronkowski won’t suit up at all.
During Sunday’s 41-28 victory over the Houston Texans, Gronkowski reinjured the left forearm that he initially broke back on Nov. 18. He missed five games after that before returning for New England’s season finale against the Miami Dolphins.
According to multiple reports, the injury will require surgery and will keep him out for the rest of the year.
Fortunately for the Patriots, they do still have another extremely gifted option in tight end Aaron Hernandez. He racked up six catches for a total of 85 yards on Sunday.
“It’s hard to replace a player like him, because he’s a freak of nature,” Hernandez said of Gronkowski after the game (via the Boston Globe). “But everyone has to step up and everyone still has to keep making plays so we can keep going.”
Next week the Patriots will square off against the Baltimore Ravens for a chance to go to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
(Kudos Boston Globe)