The New England Patriots have released an injury status update on their tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, the four-time Pro Bowler injured his chest when he was hit on a play by safety Earl Thomas. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski's injury is a perforated lung.
He hasn't been able to practice all week, and Rapoport also reported on Friday according to NFL.com that: "The Patriots tight end was not aboard the team plane as coaches and players prepared to fly west to face the 49ers."
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It was later confirmed by the Patriots that their All-Pro tight end will not be playing in their week 11 matchup on Sunday.
Multiple reports have stated he may only miss one game, as they expect the 27-year-old to play against the New York Jets next week, but his absence will affect their offense.
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While he is on the sidelines, fellow tight end Martellus Bennett is expected to receive more snaps and looks on the offense, but it may be difficult for him to produce the same productivity because of how efficient Gronkowski has been this season.
According to Pro Football Talk: "Gronkowski leads the Patriots with 540 receiving yards, and his average of 21.6 yards per catch is the best in the NFL not just for any tight end but for any receiver," despite the fact he barely had an impact in the first four games of the season.
That's a big part of your offense missing, so although the Patriots are the overwhelming favorites to win the game against the 49ers this Sunday, the task may be a little bit more difficult than usual to achieve.