FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (CBSNewYork/AP) — It won’t be easy by any stretch for the Jets to save their season. Especially with the rival New England Patriots looking to spoil Thanksgiving night.
But Rex Ryan & Co. may have just caught a big break.
New England lost tight end Rob Gronkowski with an arm injury late in Sunday’s 59-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, a game in which he caught two touchdown passes.
Gronkowski has a broken forearm, according to multiple reports.
“Rob does a great job for us,” coach Bill Belichick said after the game, “blocking, receiving, third down, red area. He’s a good player.”
Belichick didn’t mention the injury, which the Patriots identified as affecting his arm without saying which one. The team gave no timetable for his return.
The star tight end had surgery Monday and will miss several weeks, according to multiple reports.
New York put its internal turmoil aside in St. Louis to improve to 4-6. A win Thursday over New England at MetLife Stadium would be paramount to the team’s comeback hopes.
Gronkowski, 23, had seven catches for 137 yards on Sunday, including touchdowns of 4 and 24 yards in the game. It seems he was injured while blocking for an extra point on New England’s eighth touchdown.
The happy-go-lucky Gronkowski had 10 touchdown catches as a rookie and then set an NFL record for tight ends with 17 touchdowns last year, when he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards. But he sprained his left ankle in the AFC title game and was a nonfactor in the Super Bowl, which New England lost 21-17 to the New York Giants.
The Patriots had been without Aaron Hernandez, their other first-string tight end, for the last three games – and a total of six this season – after he sprained his right ankle in Week 2. He has just 17 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns in four games.
Hernandez went from being listed as “out” in the injury report to “questionable” after the Nov. 4 bye week and remained that way for each of the last three games. He had limited participation in practice in each of the last three weeks; the team has not given a timetable for his return.
The Patriots made no announcement about Gronkowski’s injury when he headed for the locker room with about 4 minutes left in Sunday’s game. Several hours after the game, James said he had no information; inquiries to the NFL media relations department were referred back to the Patriots, who then said Gronkowski had an arm injury.
According to the NFL’s media policy, “Team personnel are responsible for reporting in-game injury information factually and accurately as soon as possible for the benefit of the network television audience and the other media covering our games.”
“Clubs must ensure that all medical information issued to the media is credible, responsible, and specific in terms that are meaningful to teams, media, and fans,” says the policy, which goes on to remind teams that “the injury reporting policy relates directly to the integrity of the game.”
Do you think Gang Green has a shot against the Gronk-less Pats? Be heard in the comments below!
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