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News Blitz 12/2: Rob Gronkowski set for surgery

The news of Rob Gronkowski's back surgery dominated the news for the last 24 hours and the fallout remains at the top of the news cycle today. The tight end is set to undergo surgery today and will likely be lost for the remainder of the season.

Now it's time to deal with life after Gronk, at least for the short term, and ESPN.com provides a look at how it might affect the Patriots and the playoff picture. Martellus Bennett, the leading candidate to fill Gronk's considerable shoes, had some interesting comments about his teammate's injuries. Tom Brady also weighed in on his tight end's absence. The team even released a statement about the situation. The Boston Herald thinks the Patriots Super Bowl chances are gone.

Elsewhere, the Boston Globe says defensive tackle Malcom Brown has come a long way in his second season. The notebook looks at the tumultuous season endured by the Patriots backup quarterbacks. ESPNBoston.com offers some items of interest for Sunday's game with the Rams.

Despite Rams running back Todd Gurley's sophomore slump, the Patriots will not be overlooking him. The Herald's notebook leads with Jacoby Brissett learning from the best. The Providence Journal says the Patriots don't know much about Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff.MassLive.com says it's time for others to step up and Malcolm Mitchell could be a candidate.

The Los Angeles Times has Goff excited about the opportunity to face Brady on Sunday. Also, the shaky Rams defense will have its hands full with the Patriots offense, even without Gronkowski.

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