We can now update that report to tell you, via a league source, that Gronkowski has already had surgery. Gronkowski will “probably” be out a few weeks, although an exact timetable for his return to the team remains up in the air. With a serious fight going on for playoff positioning in the AFC, the Patriots could really miss the man who has scored 37 touchdowns in his first 42 regular season games.
The Patriots have a quick turnaround before facing the Jets on Thanksgiving night and then they’ll have an extended break before playing the Dolphins. The schedule gets a lot tougher after that game as the Patriots will host the Texans and 49ers at home in Weeks 14 and 15.
Navigating this stretch will be easier if, as Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports, Aaron Hernandez is able to return to the lineup on Thursday. He’s missed the last three games because of an ankle injury that’s made him a spectator for most of the season, but Bedard reports that the team believes he’s ready to go and held him out against the Colts because of the short time between that game and the matchup with the Jets.