The New England Patriots will return to the AFC Championship game this Sunday. However, they will be doing it without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his arm during the team's AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Houston Texans last Sunday. The injury to Gronkowski, who broke the same arm earlier this season, has led to criticism of the Patriots for rushing the tight end back to the field before the arm was ready.
According to a report by Comcast Sportsnet New England, the more recent break to Gronkowski's arm is not in the same location as the previous break. The CSNNE source stated the new break, "had nothing to do with whether the arm was ready or not."
The more recent injury was a fracture at the end of a plate that was inserted into Gronkowski's arm to protect the previous break. According to CSSNE's source, "There will always be a risk to the area at the end of the plate, the source explained, because of a 'collection of stress.'" The source went on to explain that the new injury could have occurred at any time - this pas weekend or three years from now.
Gronkowski under went surgery yesterday to repair the more recent break. Following the procedure, reports stated that the previous break was observed as fully healed and intact during the surgery.
The Gronk-less Patriots face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Sunday. The game will kick off at 6:30pm ET.