Patriots say Rob Gronkowski likely out for season due to back surgery
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery on Friday and will likely miss the rest of the season, the team announced.
Gronkowski has dealt with a slew of injuries in recent weeks. He suffered a ruptured disk against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 13, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. He reaggravated the injury in Week 13 against the New York Jets when he played seven snaps and received two targets before leaving the game, the Patriots confirmed. He also missed Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers due to a chest injury.
The team initially believed the injury was not as serious and he would return quickly, but Gronkowski is now expected to miss eight weeks. The team would not officially rule him out for the season yet, but said they did not expect him back.
Gronkowski has an extensive history of back injuries that have plagued him throughout his football career. He missed his junior season at Arizona with a back injury, which led to his diminished draft stock that made him a second-round pick. ESPN's Bill Barnwell reports that concern over Gronkowski's back and his durability is likely what led him to accept a below-market contract extension in 2012.
Gronkowski has 25 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns in eight games this season.