The New England Patriots likely will be without Tom Brady’s biggest offensive weapon for the rest of the season.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery Friday, and a Gronkowski-Patriots joint statement Thursday night said, “we do not expect that he will be able to play for the remainder of the 2016 season.”
So just how will Brady and Co. deal with the huge void left by Gronk?
“Well, you know, it doesn’t help losing great players,” Brady told Jim Gray on Westwood One before the Dallas Cowboys faced the Minnesota Vikings on “Thursday Night Football.” “And to not have Gronk out there, one of our best players and most dependable, consistent players not in the lineup, makes things challenging for us. But that’s what the NFL season is about. It’s about overcoming challenges and adversity.
“We have a lot of good players on our team that are going to need to step in and fill the void — and that’s a big void left by such a spectacular player in Gronk. So we understand the challenge that is ahead. It becomes challenging when you lose such a good player in Gronk, but I don’t think any of us are going to give up on what we’re trying to accomplish. And we’ve played games this season without him, and we’re going to need to reach a higher level as individuals so that we can reach a higher level as a team.
“Our thoughts are with him. And what he’s gone through, he’s such a mentally tough person — he’s physically tough, he’s got a great energy and spirit about him. So we’re all wishing him the very best, and we hope he gets better as soon as possible.”
Brady, who said he’s seen and spoken with Gronk since the injury, did have a hopeful message regarding the tight end’s future.
“I know the resolve he has,” Brady told Gray. “He’ll be as determined as ever to get back and get better as soon as possible.”
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