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AFC Divisional Playoffs: Patriots lose Gronkowski,Woodhead But Take Lead from Texans Anyways


The New England Patriots are heavily favored to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday, but they’re having some early kinks thrown into their plans. Tight End Rob Gronkowski caught a Tom Brady pass midway through the first quarter, but landed awkwardly on his injured forearm. Gronkowski instantly writhed in pain and was removed form the game, and it didn’t take long for him to head to the locker room.

Danny Woodhead also left the game early with what now appears to be a thumb injury. Woodhead exited the game after just one offensive snap for the Patriots, and his return is questionable. If Woodhead can’t return or is limited in what he can do, expect to see a lot more of Shane Vereen for New England.

But as for Gronkowski, his loss is much more significant for the Patriots. Aaron Hernandez is indeed active for the Patriots, and having Gronkowski out means a lot more action for Hernandez.

New England was hoping to have Gronkowski back at as close to full health as he can be after breaking his arm earlier this season. Many said that Gronkowski rushed back from his injury, and it now appears that perhaps he did. Gronkowski didn’t fall that awkwardly on his arm but it was enough to get him in ferocious pain.

If Gronkowski re-injured his arm, his postseason may be in jeopardy.

As for the Patriots, after losing both Woodhead and Gronkowski in the first quarter, Shane Vereen and Aaron Hernandez helped the Patriots forget that they were gone, as New England marched down the field and took the lead back from the Texans. Not having weapons like Gronkowski and Woodhead hurts, but the Patriots showed that they are going to likely be just fine with what they’ve got left.

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