Rob Gronkowski done for playoffs

  • ESPN.com news services | January 13, 2013

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the remainder of the postseason after breaking his arm in Sunday's divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans, sources confirmed to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Gronkowski, who had a team-leading 11 touchdown catches this season, will require a second surgery on his arm, according to sources.

Pro Football Talk reported earlier that Gronkowski would undergo the season-ending surgery.

Gronkowski appeared to suffer the injury while attempting to make a catch in the first quarter. The two-time Pro Bowler returned to the Patriots' sideline early in the second half but eventually departed with members of the team's medical staff and did not return to New England's 41-28 victory.

Rob Gronkowski
Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY SportsRob Gronkowski had just one target in Sunday's game against the Texans, but it was a costly one.

He was seen leaving the Patriots locker room wearing a sling on his left arm just as the media entered after the game.

"It's always a tough break," Patriots guard Logan Mankins said. "Everyone on the team loves Rob. Loves him as a person, player. It's a tough break for him, and it's always a tough break for our team, but whoever gets put in that spot, they have to do that job. We're all counting on him."

It was the same arm that Gronkowski broke on Nov. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Gronkowski missed five games because of the original injury but played in New England's regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins.

Although Gronkowski had his forearm heavily wrapped, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he did not regret allowing the star tight end to play.

"The doctors handle medical decisions," Belichick told reporters after the game.

The Patriots also lost running back Danny Woodhead for the game when he hurt his thumb carrying the ball on their first offensive play. The club provided no update on his condition.

Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones hurt his ankle later in the game.

"We had a whole plan built for (Gronkowski) and Woody," quarterback Tom Brady said. "We run the first series of the game and all those plans change. I think a little of it was, 'What are we going to do now? How are we going to adjust?' But we seemed to settle in there midway through the first quarter and put together a pretty good game.

"Obviously it's a bummer to lose anybody, but someone of Rob's importance or Danny's importance, we need guys to step in and fill the void, whether it's this game or any game after."

On Sunday, backup tight end Michael Hoomanawanui got more action once Gronkowski left.

"I just saw him a little bit ago," Hoomanawanui said. "A guy with that much talent, it stinks. There's no other way to put it. I went down with a knee injury last year that ended my season and you never want to see that for anyone, for an opponent, but let alone a guy that you spend a lot of time with each and every day."

Information from ESPNBoston.com contributor Mike Rodak and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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