On Wednesday the Patriots confirmed Rob Gronkowski suffered a concussion in the AFC Championship.
Gronkowski was forced to leave the game late in the second quarter after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit by Jaguars safety Barry Church. Gronkowski is in concussion protocol, and if the Patriots had practiced Wednesday, the tight end would not have participated.
This season Gronkowski had 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns playing in 14 games. Gronkowski missed New England's Thursday night game against the Buccaneers in Week Five with a thigh contusion and the team's Week 14 Monday night matchup with the Dolphins after being suspended one game for hitting Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White in the helmet while he was on the ground.
Gronkowski, a second round pick in the 2010 draft, has a long history of injuries throughout his football career. In college at Arizona, he missed his entire junior season after having surgery for a bulging disc in his back. In 2012, Gronkowski broke his left forearm and missed five games, then he broke the same forearm in New England's first playoff game that season, forcing him to miss the team's next game. He missed six games the next season after offseason back surgery, and then missed the final three games of the year and the postseason after tearing his ACL. After a healthy 2014, Gronkowski missed one game in 2015 with a sprained knee.
Last season, the four-time All-Pro tight end missed two games at the beginning of the year with a hamstring injury. Gronkowski played in six games, then was forced to miss one with a chest injury. He returned from the chest injury, but then suffered a lower-back injury that sidelined him for the last five games of the regular season and the entire postseason.
In 24 regular season games without Gronkowski due to injury during his eight-year career, the Patriots are 20-4. In the six playoff games Gronkowski missed, New England is 4-2, including a win in Super Bowl LI. In Super Bowl XLVI, Gronkowski played through a sprained ankle, but only had two catches for 26 yards in a 21-17 loss to the Giants.