The Patriots recent run of bad injury news got much worse on Thursday when reports indicated that All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery on Friday and is expected to miss two months.
The news was first reported by Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News and confirmed by several other outlets. The reports indicated Gronkowski suffered the injury during the Seattle game Nov. 13 and turned out to be a herniated disk. This will mark the third time Gronkowski has been forced to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk.
After missing the San Francisco game with what the team described as a chest injury, Gronkowski returned to the lineup against the Jets but took part in only seven plays. He was targeted twice and landed hard trying to haul in a Tom Brady deep pass on the first but remained in the game. He eventually left for the locker room and various reports indicated he felt tingling sensation in his back and legs. He did not return.
If Gronkowski is indeed able to return during the reported timeframe it's possible he could get back on the field should the Patriots make it to Super Bowl LI in Houston. But given the tenuous nature of back injuries, as well as Gronkowski's unfortunate history with them, his season is likely over even if New England is fortunate enough to make it that far without him.