The New England Patriots traveled to the Windy City for a Week 7 matchup against the Chicago Bears, but star tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn’t on the flight with the team. Unfortunately for New England, he probably won’t play against Chicago. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that Gronkowski is “highly unlikely” to play against the Bears.
Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski is “highly unlikely” to play Sunday vs. Bears as he didn't travel with the team to Chicago, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2018
How does this injury affect the Patriots?
The answer is simple: in a huge way. Gronkowski is the Patriots’ top receiver, registering a team-high 405 receiving yards in six games. Indeed, he only has one receiving touchdown this season. But the Patriots will miss his size, speed and route-running prowess in the red zone.
Now, tight end Dwayne Allen will appear in the starting lineup against a stingy Bears defense. Allen only hauled in one catch for -4 yards this season. Chicago’s ninth-ranked defense is no joke, so Allen will probably struggle with getting open.
Even though New England has Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Chris Hogan — Gronkowski, like Brady, is the key to the Patriots’ success on offense. But in classic Patriots’ fashion, someone on this team will probably step up and play well. The Patriots, however, need Gronkowski back in the lineup as soon as possible.
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