The New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 59-24 on Sunday afternoon, but the victory seems to be a costly one.
Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm on an unfortunate play during the final P.A.T by former Patriots defensive back Sergio Brown. Gronkowski reportedly had surgery Monday morning.
When reports first surfaced post-game that Gronkowski had a broken forearm, the immediate timetable was four-to-six weeks recovery. During ESPN Boston’s weekly “Chat With Tedy”, Jason (Montpelier), asked Tedy the following question.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking his forearm in Sunday’s 59-24 victory over the Colts. (FILE:USPresswire)
Jason: “My comment answers a previously posted question; why is Gronk in there? And I say he needs to be in there, this is a team that has struggled to close the door in games both offensively and defensively. The coaching staff can’t say play 60 minutes then start pulling people too early!”
I found Bruschi’s response interesting and enlightening, so I decided to pass it along. Here is what the former Patriots linebacker had to say:
Tedy: “Jason, you always leave your starters in on the P.A.T., even on the field-goal block team. When I was playing defense and we were blowing out an opponent, you were told, “You’re out of the game now, Tedy, but you’re still on the field goal block team.” It’s just the way it is in football. The forearm injury to Gronkowski is unfortunate. The projected time for him to miss is 4-to-6 weeks, per some reports. From my experience, it can be significantly less. Mike Vrabel broke his forearm one year. After surgery, they put in one plate and 11 screws. Vrabel missed two games. I know Gronkowski is tough, but Mike Vrabel’s toughness was legendary. So it all depends on the player. I would doubt that Gronkowski is out the full six weeks.”
I tend to agree with Bruschi, this is the type of injury that the timetable can be shortened by the individual player. In fairness, not many people know the severity of the injury, how the surgery went and only Gronkowski can really know how he feels at this moment. While the injury did happen with enough time to recover before a playoff run, it is still very unfortunate and I would have loved for him on the field for the Houston Texans match-up in week 14; a game that will almost certainly have playoff seeding implications.
Coming to Bruschi’s point at the end of his excerpt, I believe there is a slim chance he could play with a cast against the Texans in week 14 or against the San Francisco 49ers in week 15. However, if he cannot return in time for one of those games, I would say he should rest until the playoffs. Let’s not forget Gronkowski was still a little hampered by a nagging hip injury prior to this and he would benefit for some time off.
With the final two games on the regular season schedule being at Jacksonville Jaguars in week 16 and then against the Miami Dolphins at home for week 17, he most likely would not need to participate in games that will have almost no importance to seeding purposes at this point; although, that could change in the coming weeks.
I think Patriots fans should mentally prepare themselves for Gronkowski to return healthy in the playoffs and if he can return to contribute before that, be pleasantly surprised. I am hesitant to rush back Gronkowski after the team did with Hernandez, but like Bruschi said, it all depends on the player. For that, I guess, we’ll have to wait and see.
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