Rob Gronkowski’s injuries are worse than initially thought.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end told Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that he has four cracked ribs, one broken rib and a punctured lung after taking a big hit from linebacker Terrell Lewis in last weekend’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Gronkowski surprisingly returned to that game but was ruled out for Sunday’s matchup against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Gronkowski could miss multiple weeks because of the injury. However, it’s unclear if he’ll be placed on injured reserve, which would sideline him for at least three weeks.
Gronkowski has been one of the best tight ends in football this season, catching 16 passes for 184 yards and four touchdowns in three games. Without him, Tom Brady loses one of his most reliable receivers in the red zone.
However, the Buccaneers don’t lack depth in the passing game and will rely on Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard Sunday against the Patriots.
Gronkowski’s return to New England alongside Brady was supposed to be a major storyline for this weekend’s game. Now it’ll just be all about Brady.