Originally written January 13, 2013 on NESN.com:
The Patriots and Ravens will once again hook up in the AFC Championship Game. This time could prove to be more difficult for the Pats, though, as they’ll reportedly be without tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski reportedly reinjured his forearm during the Patriots’ playoff victory over the Texans on Sunday, and he’ll require season-ending surgery. Gronk’s absence will be problematic for New England, but is it enough to keep the Patriots from punching their ticket to the Super Bowl? The Patriots played five games without Gronkowski earlier this season, going 4-1 in those contests. The two-time Pro Bowler then returned for New England’s season finale against Miami, and he hauled in two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots rolled to a 28-0 win. On Sunday, Gronk’s night ended early, as he headed back to the locker room in pain during the first quarter after falling awkwardly on his taped up arm. Soon after, Patriots fans’ fears were confirmed, and Bill Belichick and Co....
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