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BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has reportedly undergone surgery on his broken left forearm.
Gronkowski is expected to be out 4-to-8 weeks after he suffered the injury late in the Patriots’ 59-24 rout over the Colts, and will likely miss the rest of the regular season.
However, he could potentially return to the Patriots in time for the playoffs.
Gronkowski finished Sunday’s game with seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns, but made his way to the locker room late in the fourth quarter following New England’s final touchdown on the day. He was reportedly hurt while blocking on the Patriots final extra point of the afternoon.
Losing Gronkowski will certainly hurt the Patriots offense, as they have been without fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez for the last three weeks as he recovers from an early season ankle injury.
“They can’t replace him. He’s irreplaceable in the sense of there’s only one Gronkowski, but I do think they’re better equipped to deal with this than they would have been last year when they didn’t have any backups,” ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss said on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final.
The Patriots carry 5 tight ends on the roster and Reiss says Hernandez could be back as soon as Thursday night against the Jets in New York.
“There are replacements in-house. They just won’t be as effective as Gronkowski.”
For the season, Gronkowski has 53 receptions for 748 yards. With his two touchdowns on Sunday, he became the first tight end in NFL history to have three straight 10-plus touchdown seasons.