New England tight end Rob Gronkowski reacts to the cheers of fan as he leaves… (Jim Rogash / Getty Images )
The New England Patriots must get used to playing without Rob Gronkowski again.
The star tight end who missed the first six games while recovering from surgeries is done for the season after being placed on injured reserve Monday with a damaged right knee.
That experience could help the Patriots handle his absence.
"I'd like to think there's going to be some carry-over there, not only [from] the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well," Coach Bill Belichick said Monday. "That's the way we practiced and played most of the year."
Gronkowski was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Patriots' 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he was hit on the knee by safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception.
The Patriots were 5-1 while Gronkowski recovered from off-season operations on his left forearm and back. In the next six games, he led all NFL tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards receiving and they were 4-2. But the offense was much more productive.
Gronkowski caught touchdown passes in four consecutive games before Sunday. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and damaged a medial collateral ligament, a person familiar with the injury said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not release those details.
Mathieu's season over
Tyrann Mathieu's terrific rookie season has come to a premature end.
Arizona Coach Bruce Arians confirmed Mathieu tore an ACL and sustained further damage in his left knee and will undergo surgery.
Mathieu, who earned the nickname "Honey Badger" in his days at Louisiana State, was Arizona's starting safety and had been in on almost every defensive play for the Cardinals.
He was injured returning a free kick after John Abraham had tackled Kellen Clemens in the end zone in the third quarter of Arizona's 30-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
After Mathieu was buried in a pile of tacklers, he tried to jog off the field but his knee buckled and he collapsed.
Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson said he expects to play this weekend against Philadelphia despite injuring his right foot Sunday in Baltimore. Peterson said the medical staff ruled out the type of Lisfranc injury that can keep a player sidelined for months.
An MRI exam showed that Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart tore the MCL in his right knee Sunday in a 31-13 loss to New Orleans.
New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie has a concussion and his status for the team's game against the Panthers on Sunday is uncertain.
Atlanta Falcons Coach Mike Smith said offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter interviewed for the Boise State head coach position. Koetter was Boise State's coach from 1998 to 2000.