The New England Patriots punched their ticket to the AFC championship game once again Sunday after a 41-28 victory over the Houston Texans. That victory moved the Patriots one game closer to their ultimate goal, the Super Bowl, but it didn't come without a steep price. During the game, New England once again lost their main receiving threat, tight end Rob Gronkowski, to injury for the remainder of the playoffs.
The third year tight end broke his left forearm during Sunday's game, the same arm he broke back on Nov. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts. Gronk missed five games because of the original injury but returned in the regular season finale against the Miami Dolphins.
Per the CBS affiliate, WBZ-TV in Boston, Gronkowski underwent surgery on Monday and will miss the remainder of the postseason.
This injury marks the second straight year that Gronk will spend his offseason rehabbing a serious injury. He should be back at full strength come the beginning of next season. However, fantasy owners have to wonder about this ever-growing string of serious injuries over his short career and what that means to his future value.
Is Gronk injury prone or is he just suffering a string of unfortunate events?
That's the major question and it's one that only time will tell. One thing is for certain though; even though Gronk missed five games, he still posted 11 touchdowns and an average of 14.4 yards per reception.
With those 11 touchdowns, Gronkowski has registered 10-plus touchdowns in each of his first three seasons and posted 38 total touchdowns in 43 regular-season games. That production, combined with his 70-plus yards per game he is averaging over the past two seasons, will gloss over any injury concerns come draft day next summer.
Expect Gronkowski to remain a top 30 player in all formats. All the guy seems to do is get in the end-zone. Oh, and get injured; but we won't think on that this offseason.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty