"The Patriots' playoff-opening victory against the Texans came with a crushing price.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has broken his left forearm again, and he'll need season-ending surgery, according to a source. Gronkowski landed on his arm while trying to catch a pass up the left sideline in the first quarter of yesterday's 41-28 victory.
He immediately sought out the medical staff and was in visible pain. He remained on the sideline for a few minutes before departing for the locker room, where tests revealed the extent of the damage.
Gronkowski initially broke the arm in Week 11 against the Colts and missed five games. He returned for the regular-season finale against the Dolphins and wore a heavy sleeve over the forearm. He wore the same sleeve for yesterday's game.
This is the second straight postseason in which Gronkowski has suffered a serious injury. He had a high ankle sprain in last year's AFC Championship against the Ravens, which required offseason surgery.
"It's hard to replace a player like him because he's a freak of nature, but everyone has to step up," tight end Aaron Hernandez said. "Everyone has to keep making plays, so we can keep it rolling."