The Patriots may have won 59-24 on Sunday, but it wasn’t all good news coming out of Foxboro.
Star tight end Rob Gronkowski has broken his forearm, according to Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet. The break occurred on the Patriots’ last extra point, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Gronkowski was told he’ll be out 4-6 weeks with the injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
"He left the game with an arm injury," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said. "There was no update to that."
Gronkowski had a monster game for the Patriots, grabbing seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns before leaving late in the fourth quarter. He became the first tight end in NFL history to record three straight seasons with 10 touchdowns.
The Patriots already are without Aaron Hernandez, who has been out for three straight weeks with an ankle injury that he first suffered in Week 2 against the Cardinals. The Patriots have plenty of depth at the position, with Visanthe Shiancoe, Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui still on the roster. Of course, none of those players can replace the blocking and receiving combination that Gronkowski offers.
Gronkowski has 53 receptions for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. He reportedly was injured while blocking for an extra point on New England’s eighth touchdown.
The happy-go-lucky Gronkowski had 10 touchdown catches as a rookie and then set an NFL record for tight ends with 17 touchdowns last year, when he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards. But he sprained his left ankle in the AFC title game and was a nonfactor in the Super Bowl, which New England lost 21-17 to the New York Giants.
Hernandez, their other first-string tight end, has just 17 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns in four games. He went from being listed as ”out” in the injury report to ”questionable” after the Nov. 4 bye week and remained that way for each of the past three games. He had limited participation in practice in each of the past three weeks; the team has not given a timetable for his return.
The Patriots next play on Thanksgiving night against the New York Jets.