12. Gronk injured, again
On Dec. 9, battered and bruised Patriots tight end was put on injured reserve, ending his fourth NFL season. The Brown’s T.J. Ward took Gronk out at the knee and it was all over just as it was getting going again for the big receiver. The upcoming surgery to repair his torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in the right knee will be the sixth operation the 24-year-old has undergone since Nov. 19, 2012, the day after he broke his left forearm in a game against the Colts. In January, he reinjured the forearm in the playoffs. Gronkowski needed three more surgeries on the arm, and also underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy on June 18. It’s not an overstatement to say Gronk has been injury riddled. But he manages to stay in the news with announcements about cameos in upcoming movies, potential TV shows, and when you’re not looking he shows up in a Whole Foods riding a grocery cart.
The questions now are, will these surgeries take a long-term toll? Does Gronk’s style of play and size make him a target for hard hits and will the hits prevent him from staying on the field for a full season going forward?