There is no replacing Rob Gronkowski, but the Patriots need to do something to at least try to fill the void.
The Patriots will re-sign tight end D.J. Williams to help make up for the loss, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe. Williams spent one week with the team, playing a limited role on offense against the Houston Texans in his only game. He was then released early last week in anticipation of tight end Michael Hoomanawanui‘s return.
Williams, 25, played two seasons with the Packers after being drafted in the fifth round in 2011 out of Arkansas. He caught nine passes for 70 yards in 26 games over his two seasons in Green Bay.
Gronkowski, who missed the first six games of the regular season while recovering from offseason surgeries, reportedly tore his ACL on Sunday against the Browns after taking a vicious hit from Cleveland safety T.J. Ward. He had to be carted off the field and an MRI on Monday confirmed the tear. He had caught 39 passes for 592 yards and four touchdowns in seven games before the injury.
Williams will now join Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan as the Patriots’ primary tight ends. Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels may need to readjust their offense once again, though, moving back toward the attack they showed during the first six weeks of the season, when they had to cope without Gronkowski.
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