Rob Gronkowski injury: Patriots TE needs surgery

Rich Schultz

New England suffered a key loss when Rob Gronkowski broke his arm.

On Sunday night, the New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans to advance to the AFC Championship game. They also lost tight end Rob Gronkowski for the year after he broke his forearm again in the first quarter.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Gronkowski will need surgery, obviously ending his season.

This is the second straight year that Gronkowski has had to deal with an injury in the playoffs. Last year, Gronkowski was rolling through the best season a tight end has ever enjoyed before Baltimore Ravens' safety Bernard Pollard brought Gronkowski down awkwardly, injuring his ankle.

Tom Brady certainly has plenty of other weapons at his disposal, such as Wes Welker, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez and Shane Vereen, but the loss of Gronkowski still leaves a large void. Nobody is a tougher matchup in the league for a defense than Gronkowski.

Gronkowski is expected back for the start of 2013's activities.

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