It’s a hard Gronk life: Gronk out for season


Rob Gronkowski, who missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL and MCL, has missed most of the 2016 with a season back injury

Colton Mailloux, Staff writer

The New England Patriots received some coal in their stocking during their week 12 matchup against the Jets, essentially losing their Pro Bowl tight end and fan favorite, Rob Gronkowski, for the season. Gronk sustained a ruptured disc in his back that required surgery. The surgery he underwent on December 4th was successful and Gronkowski is expected to miss two months. Only problem is, what now? Is the Patriots’ season over with no Gronk?


The simple answer is no. Yes, the Patriots offense is much better with Gronk playing, but that does not mean the offense depends on his production to win. Since being drafted, Gronk has missed 22 games due to injury. In those games, the Patriots were 14-5 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs. The playoff record looks shaky, but with only three games left in the regular season, it is really hard to judge whether or not the Patriots need Gronk to make it to the Superbowl.


– In past seasons’ games without Gronk, the Patriots didn’t have another elite tight end like they have this year in Martellus Bennett. Bennett showed that he is ready to take on the role of the #1 tight end with a four catch, 70 yard, one touchdown performance on Monday against the Ravens. Although not a tight end, Chris Hogan has also picked up some of the receiving work, hauling in 152 yards on 9 receptions and two touchdowns in the two games since Gronk’s injury.


Despite Gronkowski’s injury, the Patriots are currently riding a four game winning streak. The Patriots don’t have Gronk, but they can always get a win when they have arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history under center,Tom Brady. Even with Gronk out, Brady has shown no signs of slowing down, -with  406 passing yards and three touchdown passes versus the Ravens. With the win, the Patriots moved up to #1 on CBS’s NFL Power Rankings, edging out the Dallas Cowboys, who lost to the New York Giants this past week.


Technically, Gronk could return the week before the Super Bowl, but the Patriots moved him to the Injured Reserve list. NFL teams are allowed to bring one player back from IR per season, but the Patriots have already done this for Jacoby Brissett, so there is no chance of Gronk coming back. “Gronkless,” the Patriots are still the Patriots. With Belichick leading, they are always a favorite to make some magic in the playoffs.