Patriots Place Rob Gronkowski On IR, Ending His Season

The New England Patriots have placed All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve, officially ending his season, according to ESPN's Field Yates:

Gronkowski underwent back surgery on Friday to repair a herniated disc he suffered in their loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It was believed that he may only have to miss eight weeks with the injury, which would have meant he would return for the Super Bowl if the Patriots made it that far. However, New England opted for the extra roster spot so Gronk could focus on getting completely healthy for the 2017 season.

Gronkowski has also had back surgery in college, and again in 2013. He has caught 25 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns in eight games this season.

Fellow tight end Martellus Bennett will take over a larger role in Gronk's absence. He has 42 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns so far this season.

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