Gronkowski blow for Patriots
The New England Patriots have suffered a big blow in their preparations for the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens with the news that Rob Gronkowski has broken his left arm again and will need surgery.
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The tight end, who fractured his forearm in week 10 of the regular season, dived for a pass from Tom Brady during the 41-28 divisional round win over the Houston Texans and immediately signalled he would not be able to continue after falling awkwardly.
Having played injured in last year's Super Bowl after an injury against the Ravens in that Championship game, Gronkowski is now expected to miss the rest of the season.
His injury followed that suffered by running back Danny Woodhead, who was in the starting line-up but left after hurting his thumb on the first play of the game.
"We had a whole plan built for (Gronkowski) and for Woody," said Brady. "We run the first series of the game and all those plans change. I think a little bit it was, 'What are we going to do now, how are we going to adjust?'
"But we seemed to settle in there and put together a pretty good game. Obviously, it's a bummer to lose anybody, but someone of Rob's importance or Danny's importance, we need someone to step in and fill the void."