Rob Gronkowski returns after big hit prompts Buccaneers tight end to leave game vs. Rams

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Rob Gronkowski was shaken up in the showdown at SoFi Stadium early in the third quarter on Sunday, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end absorbed a jarring hit to the midsection from Rams linebacker Terrell Lewis.

After being attended to by trainers as he lay on the field writhing in pain, Gronkowski was helped up and walked to the sideline on his own power.

But Gronkowski returned on the following series as Tampa Bay tried to mount a comeback.

Gronkowski held onto the football for a 6-yard reception despite taking the big hit in the open field. The Bucs went to complete the drive and narrow the Rams’ lead to 21-14.

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball during the first half in the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Inglewood, California.
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball during the first half in the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Inglewood, California.

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rob Gronkowski injury: Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE returns after big hit