It's official: Rob Gronkowski is on injured reserve, ending his season
Gronkowski wasn’t present during the starting six games of the Patriots as he was recovering from different surgeries. Now he has sustained injury to his right knee and his status has been put on the injured reserve by the Patriots. With his season over, the Patriots must look to other options they have on the roster to fill his loss. Gronkowski was absent in the starting six games and the Patriots managed to do fine without him. Now they must rely on that experience to yet again play in his absence and compensate for his loss as they did earlier.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said that they had previously played without him and would do so again in his absence.
“I’d like to think there’s going to be some carry-over there, not only (from) the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well,” Belichick said. “That’s the way we practiced and played most of the year.”
Gronkowski sustained his injury on Sunday when the Patriots faced the Cleveland Browns. During the third quarter on a 21 yard reception, he was tackled by Browns safety T.J. Ward on the knee. The Patriots went on to win the match 27-26.
When Gronkowski was not able to play for the first six games, the Patriots managed to get along swimmingly without him. They scored 5 wins and one loss without him. And things just got better when he hit the field again after recovering sufficiently from offseason operations to his back and left forearm. He was first in tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards. And the offense was doing well on its owns accord.
Although the franchise has not issued details as to the extent of injury Gronkowski has sustained, an unnamed source has said that he has both torn MCL and ACL.
Rob Chudzinski, head coach for the Browns said that he was still trying to ascertain whether Ward’s tackle on Gronkowski was caused by a hesitation to avoid helmet contact which results in a fine.
“From my vantage point, I think he was trying to get Gronkowski down on the ground,” Chudzinski said. “A big guy coming at you that way is tough to get on the ground, so I don’t know that it has to do with the rules other than trying to get the guy on the ground.”
He added that he was sympathetic for Gronkowski and wished him well.
“Certainly, we feel terrible about that (injury). He’s a great player, and (we) hope that he has a speedy recovery.”