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Bill Belichick not ready to face life without Rob Gronkowski

January 14, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • New England tight end Rob Gronkowski
New England tight end Rob Gronkowski (Jared Wickerham / Getty…)

Rob Gronkowski will miss the rest of the New England Patriots' playoff run after breaking his left arm Sunday for the second time this season.

At least that's what is being reported by pretty much everyone, including the Associated Press, which cites anonymous sources. Even the Patriots have a blog post on the subject on their website, saying Gronkowski will "reportedly" undergo surgery on his arm for the second time this season, crediting Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet New England "and other media reports" as the sources.

But there's been no official word from the team as of yet. Maybe that's because Coach Bill Belichick doesn't seem to have come to terms with losing one of his prized tight ends just weeks after getting him back from the first injury.

During a conference call with the members of the media Monday, Belichick said he had nothing to add to his comments following Sunday's game, a 41-28 victory over the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs. At that time, he said he wasn't sure if Gronkowski had broken his arm.

It's easy to understand why Belichick would have trouble letting go of a player who has been named to the Pro Bowl the past two years, had 55 catches for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games during the regular season and had 17 receptions for 258 yards and three touchdowns during last year's playoff run to the Super Bowl.

Still, the team went 4-1 when he missed five games with the original arm injury before returning for the final game of the regular season two weeks ago. New England, the No. 2 seed in the AFC, had a bye last week.

And the Patriots did just fine after Gronkowski left the Houston game, with quarterback Tom Brady completing 25 of 40 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

With the team now having to turn its focus to the Baltimore Ravens and the AFC championship game, it's probably time Belichick faces reality, and that's life without Gronkowski.

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