Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was placed on injured reserve by the team on Thursday, ending his season after he re-injured a fractured forearm in Sunday's win over the Texans. The Patriots will now have to move forward without one of their top weapons, a familiar spot they have been in this season. Gronkowski and fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez both missed extended time over the year.
Greg Knopping looked at two players who could see increased snaps in his absence -- Michael Hoomanawanui and Deion Branch -- and SB Nation's JP Starkey also took a look at who might replace the injured Gronkowski, suggesting Daniel Fells and Hoomanawanui may play more snaps in two-tight end sets. It will surely be a team effort to replace Gronk's production, as he is among the best tight ends in the league.
Gronkowski was knocked out early in the Divisional game against Houston after attempting make a diving catch along the sideline. His arm was broken in a different place than previously, and required another surgery. The Pats are hoping his replacements can help them win a fourth Super Bowl.