Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/18/12
Rob Gronkowski had another record-breaking performance during the Patriots’ blowout win over the Colts on Sunday. But it was a very different kind of break that may be the real story. In the midst of a seven-catch, 137-yard, two-touchdown performance, Gronkowski reportedly broke his forearm and could be out for 4-6 weeks. The broken bone was the lone bit of misfortune in an otherwise flawless 59-24 rout, but it will also hold the greatest impact. Gronkowski had finally overcome a lingering hip injury just before the Patriots’ bye week and returned to his role as the focal point of the offense. But this new ailment could sidetrack the offense’s development yet again. The day marked a historic milestone for Gronkowski, as his two touchdowns gave him 10 total scores on the season. With at least 10 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons — his first three, mind you — Gronk became the first tight end in NFL history to accomplish the feat. Now, the Patriots will need to regroup and devise a new strategy as they face the reality of playing the rest of the regular season without their most productive offensive weapon. Something they can ill afford to do. Gronkowski’s injury couldn’t come at a worse time for the Patriots, as the team is still slowly bringing along fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez in his recovery from an ankle injury. His production, along with that of Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Brandon Lloyd, also saw the Patriots release Deion Branch over the weekend — a move they may now regret. New England struggled to replace Hernandez earlier in the season, as his role as a versatile receiving threat has become vital to the success of the offense. But losing Gronk would be even more devastating, as he serves as both a threat in the passing game and as a fortifying blocker along the offensive line. Recently activated Visanthe Shiancoe should help to fill the void for the time being, but not he, Daniel Fells or Hernandez can really make up for Gronk’s absence. Unless Gronk finds some superhuman recovery power in the next few days — although I wouldn’t out it past him — Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense will likely be without their most dangerous weapon at least for the near future. In light of the timetable for the injury, the timing might have been a blessing, though. If the break occurred in another week or two, Gronk’s availability for the playoffs might have been in question. A fate the Patriots can endure in the meantime, but likely wouldn’t be able to overcome in the postseason. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker