We now know how Rob Gronkowski suffered the thigh injury that kept him out of Thursday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, according to a report Wednesday by the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe.
A source told Howe that Gronkowski sustained a thigh contusion when he was leg-whipped during the New England Patriots’ Week 4 loss to the Carolina Panthers. With only three days off between that game and the one against Tampa Bay, the bruise did not heal in time for the tight end to suit up.
“As an indication that he could potentially play against the Bucs, Gronk still traveled with the team but was ultimately held out and watched the game from the bench with a compression sleeve on his left thigh,” Howe wrote.
“Gronkowski’s thigh contusion made it difficult to move, let alone play in a game, so the Patriots kept him out. The main reason was that they didn’t want him to take another shot to the leg and worsen the injury, as the most serious thigh contusions can keep a player out for weeks or even months. That obviously wasn’t a risk worth taking.”
Howe went on to note that defenders often aim low in an effort to bring down the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski, putting him in danger of exacerbating the injury if he returned to action too early.
Gronkowski practiced Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to play Sunday against the New York Jets, according to multiple reports.
With Gronkowski sidelined, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady relied more on his wide receivers against the Bucs. Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan teamed up to catch 21 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ 19-14 victory.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
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