Following the win over the Houston Texans in the division round of the NFL playoffs, the New England Patriots learned that All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski re-injured his broken arm after landing on the arm during a catch made in the first quarter.
As the team feared, Gronkowski’s injury required season-ending surgery and as a result he’ll miss the rest of the playoffs with the team placing him on the injured reserve on Thursday according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:
They officially placed tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve Thursday, four days after breaking a bone in his left arm for the second time this season. The injury he suffered against the Texans is reportedly in a different part of the arm from the one that caused him to miss five regular season games. Gronkowski had surgery on Monday and he’d already been ruled out for the season because of this procedural move.
With Gronkowski placed on the injured reserve, the Patriots will have an open spot on the roster. It is uncertain at this point in time whether or not New England will decide to fill the open roster spot moving forward as insurance for any injuries suffered in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens or in the Super Bowl if the team advances that far.
Although Gronkowski only played 11 games during the regular season, the 23-year-old still managed to score 11 touchdowns and lead the team in that category along with finishing fourth in the NFL in receiving touchdowns. Gronkowski’s presence in the passing game will be missed, but the Patriots have a solid backup at the position with Aaron Hernandez.
The Patriots will face-off against the Ravens on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in which New England is heavy favored even without Gronkowski in the lineup.