It is no secret that when Rob Gronkowski is in the lineup the New England Patriots play at a high level. It is also no secret that if New England wants to reach the promise land during the 2013 NFL season Gronkowski will have to be healthy throughout, especially in the postseason.
Like it or not, Gronkowski means everything to New England’s offense. He is quarterback Tom Brady’s go-to guy in the red zone and is always available to make the clutch grab. When he is not in the lineup, the Patriots suffer immensely as they are unable to get the ball across the goal line.
For example, New England averaged 34.8 points per game during the 2012 regular season. However, they were only able to muster 13 points against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game without Gronkowski’s service. One has to wonder what the outcome of the game would have been if he was available for Brady.
The fact is Gronkowski is a dominating force who can score touchdowns like nobody’s business. With that being said, he is also valuable because he takes the eyes off other players who line up next to him. There is no question the defense always knows where Gronkowski is at all times on the gridiron, which means other receivers open up for Brady to toss the ball to.
Gronkowski underwent a successful arm surgery that slated for him to be ready at some point this summer. Unfortunately, he will also have to undergo minor back surgery that could end up being quite serious. In fact, the tight end could be placed on the physically unable to perform list which would hold him out through the first six games of the season.
Hopefully, the 24-year-old’s back problem is not as serious as some think because the Patriots truly cannot afford him to miss much time. With that being said, the only thing that really matters is that he is running on all cylinders down the stretch and into the playoffs, assuming New England is fortunate enough to clinch a postseason berth.