MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The New England Patriots suffered a key injury just one week before the team comes to Miami for a key game against the suddenly surging Dolphins.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was running down the field and caught a pass just before Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward dove at Gronk’s knees. Gronkowski’s knee bent at an awkward angle and the massive tight end was down on the field writhing in pain.
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The tight end is scheduled for an MRI on Monday to get a final diagnosis. According to Fox Sports, the early diagnosis is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Losing Gronkowski for the rest of the season couldn’t come at a worse time for New England. The Patriots are 10-3 on the season and were fighting for home field advantage with the Denver Broncos in the playoffs.
The Patriots’ offense also loses quite a punch with Gronkowski out of the lineup. The team scores 11 fewer points with the tall tight end off the field as it does when he is starting.
Gronkowski’s injury may also increase the call for better rules to protect wide receivers/tight ends. Ward was avoiding going high on Gronk which would have drawn a penalty. So he went low, which was legal, but that will likely cost Gronkowski the rest of the season.