Rob Gronkowski, the number one tight end for the New-England Patriots walked off the field during the third quarter only to be ruled out of the fourth during this weekend’s last game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gronkowski sustained a serious concussion following a helmet-to-helmet collision with safety Barry Church of the Jaguars. Although the Patriots came out ahead in the A.F.C Championship game with a score of 24-20, Gronkowski’s concussion may change the Patriots odds to win the Super Bowl this year.
Even as the number two tight-end, Dwayne Allen was sent on to the field by Josh McDaniels (the team’s defensive coordinator), the team felt the frustration of losing the tight end who had been present during all 26 initial snaps during the first three offensive quarters.
Though sports fans and the leaders alike stood in eager anticipation for Gronkowski to walk back on to the field during the fourth quarter, the severity of the concussion made officials rule him out for the rest of the game. When reporters went to the locker room to get a statement, Gronkowski was already gone and the team were preparing as best they could to step up and fill his absence.
Church received a penalty by referees for unnecessary roughness. A look at the playback monitors revealed that it appeared as though Gronkowski may have led into Church’s helmet with his shoulder. Church noted that it is those moments of the game which are the most difficult. On one side, a player can easily appear as a low player and be criticized while on the other hand it can also be considered unsportsmanlike. Regardless of what is chosen, it is a difficult situation for both parties involved.
Tom Brady commended the offensive coordinator for acting so swiftly and bringing McDaniels in at the right moment to save the game. Coordinator Josh McDaniels has been key in some of the team’s most crucial moments that have brought them to having such high odds while getting closer to the Super Bowl. Brady relied three times on Gronkowski during the first three quarters and knows that losing a part of the core of the team can significantly harm the offense. Brady expressed his hopes that Gronkowski was well, and commented that this isn’t the first hit Gronkowski has taken.
Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots was proud of the team and its ability to maintain control of the game after the blow. Kraft was especially complementary of Amendola and of running back, Dion Lewis, who made the final winning run of the game. The team’s ability to recover from a potentially dramatic situation only allowed the Patriots to show their ability to respond well in difficult situations. Kraft was proud of all his players and of his staff as they helped lead the Patriots into another victory.
With potentially harmful and game-changing situations like this, the team must continually prepare and display how the team can bounce-back and come together. Being followed closely by Philadelphia, Minnesota, and others, blows like this can be a game-changer in the Patriots odds to win the Super Bowl. However, as the team is backed by strong leadership from Brady, supported by talent like McDaniels, and quick thinking from the coordinators, the Patriots have a strong fighting chance.
Super Bowl Betting Odds
|Eagles||+4½ -115||O 48||+155|
|Patriots||-4½ -105||U 48||-190|
Return of TE Rob Gronkowski is uncertain. He was taken into locker room end of half to be evaluated for head injury. He has not returned to sideline for 2H— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) January 21, 2018