According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, New England Patriots Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a broken bone in his forearm during Sunday's 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Rapoport adds that Gronkowski has been informed that his timetable for return is four-to-six weeks, which would put his return at the end of the regular season or the beginning of the playoffs. Gronkowski is expected to undergo surgery to repair the broken bone on Monday.
Gronkowski left the game following an extra point attempt in the fourth quarter and did not return. Multiple reports out of the Patriots' locker room after the game stated that Gronkowski was not present, with some speculating that he had suffered a leg injury. Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com was the first to report that Gronkowski was undergoing X-rays on his forearm, which have apparently confirmed the team's fears of a serious injury.
The Patriots are currently playing without tight end Aaron Hernandez, who on Sunday missed a third consecutive game since aggravating an ankle injury on Oct. 21. The Patriots are carrying five tight ends on their 53-man roster, with Visanthe Shiancoe and Michael Hoomanawanui also active on Sunday while Daniel Fells was a healthy scratch. Hernandez has been listed as "questionable" in recent weeks, so it will be interesting to see if Gronkowski's injury prompts him to attempt to come back for Thursday night's game against the New York Jets.
Through 10 games this season, Gronkowski has 53 receptions for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns, including seven touchdowns in the last four games. With two scores on Sunday, Gronkowski became the first tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive seasons with 10 or more receiving touchdowns.
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