Following the hit Rob Gronkowski took from Seattle Seahawks' Earl Thomas, the tight end missed a practice with the New England Patriots due to a chest injury. This could mean that the Gronk might not be able to play with the rest of the Patriots when they take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Gronkowski suffered the injury following the Patriots' Week 13 loss to the Seahawks. After getting him by Thomas, Gronkowski was taken off the field but was still able to return. Despite the viciousness of the hit, Gronkowski commended Thomas for the play and regarded it as a "good, clean, hit."
Since he did not suffer an immediate injury, the Patriots thought that Gronkowski was okay. Sources also claimed that Gronkowski's injury was less serious than what was previously reported.
However, on Thursday, he was not able to practice with the team due to what is believed to be a perforated lung, according to NFL. This could endanger his chances of playing on Sunday against the 49ers.
Still though, if he misses the upcoming game, the Patriots will still probably do fine given the way they have been performing this season. In addition, their tight end bench is pretty deep and the team will most likely rely on Martellus Bennett to take on Gronkowski's spot. Backing up Bennett would be Matt Lengel.
For now though, the Patriots have not yet released a statement regarding the exact status of Gronkowski or if he will be able to play on Sunday. But, depending on his condition, he could miss a couple of weeks as he recovers from his injury.
As for Gronkowski, he doesn't hold a grudge against Thomas. The two even exchanged tweets earlier this week to show their mutual respect for one another.
"Nothing but respect for Gronk," Thomas posted. "One of the best I've lined up against. Hoping to see him back on the field sooner than later.
"The respect is mutual man," Gronkowski responded. "You got the best of me on that one. The grind is real, you showed the fans a real football hit."