Rob Gronkowski is currently dealing with the worst routine break in an arm in history. He has already had 3 surgeries, a fourth surgery is imminent and it is feared that he might need a 5th before it is all said and done. Now, his broken arm has led to him needing back surgery.
Ok, so the back surgery has nothing to do with the broken arm, but still. Gronkoswki is having an unprecedentedly bad offseason in terms of his health. His broken arm has repeatedly succumbed to infection and required surgery after surgery and now, he needs a back surgery. The back surgery has a projected 10 week recover time and can’t occur until 3-4 weeks after his arm surgery next week. That means that with zero setbacks, an achievement that Gronk has never attained after surgery, He would only be cleared to play 3 weeks before the season started. Yikes.
The Ravens, despite some offseason doubters, remain one of the best teams in the AFC and might even be better next year than they were this year. The Patriots figure to be among their principle competition. The question that begs answering is, are the Patriots a serious potential #1 seed without Gronk for an extended part of the season? Im not so sure they are.
The Patriots entire offense is built around Rob Gronkowski, without him they drop almost 5 ppg in scoring. For a team without a legitimate defense, that is a huge deal. The Patriots rely on him as much as any team relies on any non-QB player in the league. They can get by with just Aaron Hernandez for a few games, but if Gronk were to have a setback and miss say, half the season. the Patriots would be in serious trouble, and the Ravens would have one less team to worry about.