With the New England Patriots trailing the Cleveland Browns 12-0 midway through the 3rd quarter, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a Tom Brady throw down the seam. Running with the ball following the catch, Gronkowski was hit low in the knee by Browns' safety T.J. Ward.
Gronkowski's knee appeared to give, and he remained down on the field following the play. Eventually, Gronkowski was helped onto a cart, but could barely put any weight on the knee.
There's very little doubt: Although we await official word, this looks like another devastating season-ending injury for a key Patriots player.
The Patriots had been playing so much better on offense since Gronkowski's return to the line-up following his recovery from back and arm surgeries. Gronkowski had re-established himself as the premier tight end in all of football, and then this. There's no other way to put it: this was a terrible break for Gronkowski.
The hit from T.J. Ward was also completely clean. The problem lies with the league, who has implemented rule changes that are essentially begging defenders to go after the knees of receivers.
We'll have further updates on Gronkowski's injury situation as they come in. For now, let's wish him the best as health always comes above football.