An injury to Rob Gronkowski proved a major obstacle for the Patriots in last season's Super Bowl. The talented tight end's most recent setback could be an issue if New England hopes to get back to the NFL's big game.
Gronkowski exited Sunday's AFC divisional-round game against Houston after landing hard on his left arm while trying to make a catch. That's the same arm in which Gronkowski suffered a broken bone late in New England's Week 11 win over Indianapolis. Gronkowski required surgery after the original injury, which occurred while he was blocking on an extra point. He missed the Patriots' next five games before returning for Week 17.
He did not return to Sunday's game, and Pro Football Talk later reported that Gronkowski will have to sit out the remainder of the postseason. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald tweeted that Gronkowski suffered another break of his left arm and will require a second surgery.
The Patriots' team leader in touchdown receptions this season with 11, Gronkowski had a bulky wrap on his left arm to open Sunday's game. The entire weight of his body landed on that wounded area, when Gronkowski stretched out along the sideline in an effort to haul in a Tom Brady pass.
Gronkowski immediately headed to the Patriots' sideline with his arm held motionless. He appeared to be in a great deal of pain, too -- CBS' cameras caught him wincing, before he walked to the locker room with New England's trainers. New England also lost Danny Woodhead to a thumb injury early Sunday. Woodhead, however, returned to the Patriots' lineup in the second quarter.