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Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski believed to have punctured lung vs Seahawks, could miss time

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The Patriots tight end is injured, again.

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas absolutely destroyed New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski with a monster hit on Sunday night. Here’s the hit if you missed it:

At the time it looked like Gronkowski had the wind knocked out of him and the training staff ran him through concussion protocol.

“That was a big hit for sure,” Gronkowski said after the game. “Probably one of the hardest I’ve got hit in my career for sure. [It was] by a good player; a good fast player who’s like a missile. It was a good, clean hit; nothing against it. I just took it and it just knocked the wind out of me a little bit, that’s all. If you’ve ever gotten the wind knocked out of you, you know what that feels like. Just down for about a minute or two, it’s a little tough to breath, but once it comes back, you’re good.”

It turns out that Gronkowski “suffered what is believed to be a punctured lung,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. We can’t confirm that Thomas’ hit was responsible for the injury, but, seriously, I think I cracked a rib watching the replay.

Gronkowski is expected to miss one game, although the Patriots could keep him out for extra time to ensure he is fully healed. Gronkowski finished the game so this shouldn’t be considered a jeopardizing injury, but he missed the first two games of the season and was limited for the subsequent two weeks.

In the meantime, the Patriots will rely on TE Martellus Bennett to pick up the slack. Fortunately, the Patriots are facing the 1-8 San Francisco 49ers next week so there will be some leeway for the offense.

The priority now is for Gronkowski to be available over the final quarter of the season and in the playoffs. We wish Gronkowski a speedy recovery.

Update: Perhaps it won’t be as bad as it sounds.