When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski went down and appeared to re-aggrivate his forearm injury in the first quarter against the Houston Texans, most Patriots fans feared the worst. Unfortunately, it looks like the worst has come to fruition. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports:
Last year, the Patriots had to try to win the Super Bowl with an injured Rob Gronkowski. This year, they'll have to try to win a championship without him at all.
Gronkowski re-injured his forearm during the first quarter of Sunday's game. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Gronkowski needs surgery. He'll miss the rest of the postseason.
Obviously, this is terrible news. The Patriots simply haven't been able to catch a break with the health of their tight ends, with Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski barely seeing a snap together this season. And while not having Gronkowski out there will hurt tremendously, I don't doubt that the Patriots still have enough versatility on offense to thrive and win games.
Gronkowski's replacement will likely be Michael Hoomanawanui, who is an above average blocking tight end, but isn't prolific in the passing game like Gronkowski. Gronkowski's injury likely also means more playing time for receiver Deion Branch, the team's third receiver who has seen his playing time fluctuate this season.