New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski left Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos late in the fourth quarter after suffering a knee injury. Trainers looked at him for several minutes on the field after he took a hit to his right knee from Darian Stewart while attempting to catch a pass. Gronkowski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be carted off the field.
Several NFL reporters tweeted after the game that Gronkowski's injury did not appear to be serious, and an MRI Monday confirmed that it was a minor knee strain and bone bruise. A joint statement released between the Gronkowski family and the Patriots confirmed the news. Gronkowski is expected to be out in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, and could miss more time depending on his recovery:
Rob Gronkowski not expected to play Sun vs. Eagles, per sources. Likely to miss multiple weeks; return date will be a pain tolerance issue.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 30, 2015
Still, it would be an incredible relief to the New England Patriots if Gronkowski didn't miss much time.
Gronkowski was in the midst of a very good game for the Patriots. He had six receptions for 88 yards and a score before leaving the game. He was ruled out shortly after leaving the field, and the Patriots fell in overtime for their first loss of the season.
The Patriots' receiving corps has been snakebitten in recent weeks. The Pats were already missing wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, and running back Dion Lewis to short- or long-term injuries entering Sunday night. All three players were significant pieces in the Pats' offense.
None were bigger than Gronkowski, however, who topped Shannon Sharpe for the most career receiving touchdowns by a tight end on Sunday. He was on pace for a fourth All-Pro season with 57 receptions for 931 yards and nine touchdowns through 11 games.
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