New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski changed the course of the team’s season on offense when he returned from offseason arm surgeries, and he was on an absolute tear. The best skill position player on the team, Tom Brady looked for Gronk often, and he had four games of at least 90 yards of receiving when he returned. Gronk also opened things up for the rest of the offense big-time, and his return greatly helped the Patriots offense.
His loss will greatly hurt the Patriots offense, and the knee injury he suffered in yesterday’s comeback win over the Cleveland Browns looked very serious even at first glance. The hit from Browns safety T.J. Ward on Gronk’s knee was legal, but it was definitely a brutal hit to watch. I immediately thought “ACL tear” when I saw the hit, and it was reported yesterday that Gronkowski likely suffered an ACL tear.
Per a league source close to Pro Football Talk, an MRI has confirmed that Rob Gronkowski will be out for the season with both ACL and MCL tears in his right knee, and it is a devastating blow for the Patriots. They have dealt with an insane amount of bad luck on the injury front, and Gronkowski is the toughest blow yet. The Patriots have Super Bowl aspirations, but it’s going to be very difficult to get there without Gronk, who is a huge difference-maker for this team. It can be done, but the wide receivers, particularly free agent signing Danny Amendola, will have to step up in a major way. Oh, and more elite quarterbacking from Brady will help alleviate the loss of Gronk.