Patriots need Rob Gronkowski back for Super Bowl LII

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski /

The New England Patriots lost tight end Rob Gronkowski in the first half of the AFC Championship Game, but they’ll need him back for the Super Bowl.

In the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was hit in the head by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church. The helmet to helmet hit resulted in a concussion for Gronk, and he never returned to the game.

Now, all eyes will be on Gronkowski’s health over the next two weeks as the Patriots prepare to face the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

Two weeks is a long time, but no one is ever sure just how long it will take a player to return from a head injury. The New England Patriots, and their fans, really hope Gronk is back ahead of the big game though. He missed Super Bowl LI last season due to injury. Gronkowski is Tom Brady’s favorite target, and he would be a huge factor in the Patriots game plan.

More from New England Patriots

The Patriots are reportedly hopeful that Gronk will be back in time for the Super Bowl, but it’s a wait-and-see situation right now.

Gronkowski was the key to getting the Patriots offense moving on Sunday, as he became the top target on the final drive of the first half. He was targeted 3 times on that drive, with the last resulting in the helmet-to-helmet hit that caused his injury. Gronk had just one catch for 21 yards, but he looked like he was going to explode for a big game on that drive and in the second half. New England did score on that drive without Gronkowski though, on a 1-yard rush from James White.

Next: Patriots the home team for Super Bowl LII

New England will want Gronk back against the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Philadelphia’s defense looked great as they shut down the Vikings and Case Keenum in the NFC Championship, but that offense is nowhere as good as New England’s. Still, they can be dangerous and their pass rush can get to Brady. He’ll need his most trusted receiver, Rob Gronkowski, in that game in order to have the most success.