Rob Gronkowski out, Patriot’s playoff push in jeopardy?
While the New England Patriots had good reason to celebrate their 41-28 victory over the Houston Texans, it was a bittersweet moment as they lost tight end Rob Gronkowski for the remainder of the playoffs.
Many may remember when Gronkowski first broke his left forearm against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18, but he was able to return for the final game of the season against the Miami Dolphins. In that final game, Gronk seemed to favor his injured arm but claimed he was fine.
In Sunday’s showdown versus the Texans, Gronk ran for a pass and braced his fall with his left arm. Sadly, that simple action has ended Gronkowski’s season and weakened the Patriot’s offense. Gronkowski re-broke his arm on the play and will require season-ending surgery.
Gronkowski has been regarded as one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and without him, the Patriots offense will not be the same as they square off against the surging Baltimore Ravens this coming Sunday. Without Gronk on the field, the Patriots will have to regroup and step it up to replace what has long been considered irreplaceable.
“It’s hard to replace a player like him, because he’s a freak of nature,” said tight end Aaron Hernandez after the game, “But everyone has to step up and everyone still has to keep making plays so we can keep going.”
Indeed replacing Gronkowski will be tough, especially considering his ties to QB Tom Brady, but the Patriots are prepared for any situation. Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker are all ready to step it up and contribute for the remainder of the playoffs. While they may not be on the same level as Gronkowski they are gifted players and will fill the void.