Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Patriots' stockpile of TEs to help fill void left by Gronk

About the Author

Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

Dolphins snag former Ravens LB Ellerbe

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:59 p.m.

Broncos sign former Chargers OG Vasquez

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

Dolphins land WR Wallace

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:13 p.m.

Bills release QB Fitzpatrick

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 4:48 p.m.

Eagles release CB Asomugha

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 3:58 p.m.

Related Stories

2013 NFL draft order

Posted April 25, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

2013 NFC free-agent moves, by team

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

2013 AFC free-agent moves, by team

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

Warmack, Cooper scouting reports

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 11:02 a.m.

Elam, Vaccaro scouting reports

Posted April 12, 2013 @ 9:26 a.m.

Milliner, Mathieu scouting reports

Posted April 11, 2013 @ 1:48 p.m.

Te'o, Ogletree scouting reports

Posted April 10, 2013 @ 12:57 p.m.

Lotulelei, Werner scouting reports

Posted April 09, 2013 @ 3:13 p.m.

Joeckel, Long scouting reports

Posted April 08, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m.

2013 preseason schedule

Posted April 04, 2013 @ 4:07 p.m.
Posted Nov. 19, 2012 @ 4:23 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Who knew an extra point could prove so costly? When the Patriots kicked their final point of the game, finishing off a 59-24 win over the Colts, TE Rob Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm, which could keep him out anywhere from four to eight weeks, based on various reports. Gronk was already having a strong season while playing through a hip injury.

TE Aaron Hernandez, who rushed back from an ankle injury to play in Weeks Six and Seven but hasn't played since, should be back in Week 12 to help fill the receiving void. Gronkowski, who rarely leaves the field, is crucial in the Patriots’ run game, and New England has focused on the run more often this season. It's hard to predict a blueprint for a Patriots offense without Gronkowski — he hasn't missed a game in his career — but they have played plenty without Hernandez and the offense still ran smoothly.

Bill Belichick did pick a good offseason to load up on tight ends, though, as it will help offset Gronkowski's absence. The injury likely keeps Michael Hoomanawanui on the roster, as we heard he could be in jeopardy of getting cut when Hernandez returned. Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells and Visanthe Shiancoe will likely all play a role as the team’s run-blocking tight end, and each has pass-catching skills to give Tom Brady another target.

Another area where Gronk will be missed is in the red zone. In the Patriots’ three losses this season, they are an ugly 5-for-14 in scoring touchdowns on red-zone opportunities. Gronkowski leads the team with 18 red-zone targets (10 catches, eight of which were touchdowns), and after him is Brandon Lloyd with 10 targets.

Follow Kevin Fishbain on Twitter

Comments ()


ABOUT TRUST ONLINE