Rob Gronkowski Suffers Concussion vs. Jaguars After Big Hit from Barry Church

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2018

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski speaks after an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Denver. The Patriots won 41-16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a concussion in the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars that would knock him out of the game for the entire second half.

The Patriots are "optimistic" Gronkowski will be cleared from the concussion protocol for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald

Gronkowski, 28, was hit hard by safety Barry Church while attempting to catch a ball over the middle in the second quarter of Sunday's game. Church was given a 15-yard personal foul penalty for unnecessary roughness on the play, with the drive eventually ending in a touchdown.

The tight end had one catch for 21 yards before exiting.

The four-time Pro Bowler has a career littered with injuries. He hasn't played 16 games in a season since 2011 and missed a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a thigh injury earlier this year.

When on the field, Gronkowski remains one of the best tight ends in the sport. He recorded 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. No player has recorded more touchdown receptions than Gronkowski since he entered the NFL in 2010.

Dwayne Allen saw a majority of the snaps at tight end with Gronkowski out of the lineup. He did not record a catch in Sunday's 24-20 win.

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