Rob Gronkowski‘s absence was noticeable for the Patriots’ offense right out of the gate on Sunday, but they may have found a new replacement for the big tight end already.
Michael Hoomanawanui is in his second year with the Patriots, and, at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, he is physically the best possible replacement the Patriots have for Gronkowski. On Sunday, he showed that he can help fill the void left behind by the injured tight end, too.
The Patriots’ first trip down into the red zone seemed like it was ready to stall out after a pair of poorly thrown passes by Tom Brady, but then Hooman made his presence felt. Brady dropped back in the pocket and lofted a pass over the top of the Dolphins’ defense, where Hoomanawanui was patiently waiting for the ball.
Brady’s pass was slightly overthrown, though, and Hooman was forced to reach back with one hand and snatch the pass out of the year. Somehow, he avoided a fast-closing defender and managed to tuck the ball tight up against his chest and secure the score. The reception marked just his 11th on the season the first touchdown of his Patriots career..
Check out the incredible acrobatic grab in the GIF below.
Photo via Twitter/@BuzzFeedSports