Rob Gronkowski Won't Play vs. Packers Because of Back Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2018

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 04:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots announced tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers because of a back injury.

Gronkowski has a lengthy injury history in his nine-year career. After playing in every game in each of his first two seasons, he has missed at least one game in each of the past seven seasons because of a wide range of ailments. From a torn ACL and MCL to back issues to arm injuries to concussions, he has routinely found himself on the injury report in recent seasons.

This year, he has been plagued by both back and ankle injuries.

When he's on the field, though, Gronk is one of the most dominant forces in NFL history. He has become one of Tom Brady's favorite targets, posting four 1,000-yard seasons and five campaigns with double-digit touchdowns.

Gronkowski has 29 catches for 448 yards and one touchdown in seven games this season.

Having a healthy Gronkowski helps New England's passing attack reach its full potential. Without him, Brady must turn to Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister at tight end. The receiving corps still features the likes of Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett, but nobody creates a matchup nightmare quite like Gronk.