New England Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski is the clearly the best player at his position, one of the most dynamic and productive skill position players in the league, and quarterback Tom Brady’s number one offensive weapon. Naturally, seeing him suffer an injury – especially considering his past – is a big storyline.
Such an injury took place in Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, when safety Earl Thomas hit Gronkowski on an incomplete pass in the first half. The tight end appeared to have his wind knocked out of him, but finished the game. Afterwards he called it one of the hardest hits of his career.
So hard in fact, that it was initially believed to have led to a punctured lung, that might force Gronkowski to miss some time. However, according to Adam Schefter (via Mike Reiss), this is not the case:
[...] ESPN's Adam Schefter has been told the injury is "not overly serious" and that Gronkowski does not have a punctured lung, as has been reported. It is not known if the injury will affect Gronkowski's status for Sunday's game in San Francisco or if the injury was the reason he canceled an EA Sports media event scheduled for Tuesday in New York.
The Patriots’ first injury report, which will be released tomorrow, might give us at least a little clarity about Gronkowski’s injury status and how it might affect his availability for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
With Martellus Bennett as an able second tight end and wide receiver Julian Edelman appearing to closer to 100% than all year long, though, New England could afford to keep Gronkowski out against the 1-8 49ers. After all, he simply is too valuable an asset to risk anything.