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Rob Gronkowski likely out 4-6 weeks, but it could be worse

November 19, 2012|By Chuck Schilken

Rob Gronkowski's arm injury may not be season-ending, but it could be regular season-ending or close to it.

But for the New England Patriots, that might not be that big of a deal.

The Pro Bowl tight end left late in the fourth quarter of the team's 59-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, a game in which he led the Patriots with seven catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Coach Bill Belichick did not mention the injury, which was identified by the team as simply affecting one of the player's arms.

Multiple sources have since reported that Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm that likely will keep him out four to six weeks. CBSSports.com is reporting that he will have surgery on the arm Monday.

Of course, it's never good to lose a player like Gronkowski, who has a team-high 10 touchdown catches (he's the first tight end ever with at least that many three seasons in a row) to go with 53 receptions for 748 yards. Like quarterback Tom Brady said on WEEI-FM Monday morning, "It sucks."

But the Patriots have a three-game cushion on top of the AFC East with six games remaining in the regular season, only two of which are against teams with winning records (Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers).

Three of the remaining games are against divisional opponents (New York Jets and two versus the Miami Dolphins), but the Patriots still should have little trouble winning the division, which they have done the last three seasons and nine of the past 11, and getting into the postseason.

And that's when they're really going to need a healthy Gronkowski, who tied a career-high with three touchdown receptions in a playoff game against the Denver Broncos during the Patriots' run to the AFC title last season.

And it just so happens that the playoffs start in seven weeks, which would work out perfectly with Gronkowski's projected timetable.

Isn't that just like the Patriots? Even when things go wrong, they somehow seem to end up going right.

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