Rob Gronkowski Injury: Patriots tight end very unlikely to play

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The New England Patriots will likely be without their star tight end against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The New England Patriots will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski today, according to Ian Rapoport. His forearm is holding him back, as he doesn't yet have full strength in the limb. Both the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints tormented the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with their tight ends. Kellen Winslow Jr and Jimmy Graham combined for 288 receiving yards against the Bucs over the past two games.

With Danny Amendola almost certain to be out, too, the Patriots continue to lack receiving weapons. That has been a major issue for Tom Brady over the past two weeks, who is throwing for just 5.2 yards per attempt, one of the lowest figures in the league. Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson have struggled to catch the ball consistently and Brady has been noticeably on a different page from his receivers on multiple occasions.

If the Bucs want to win today they'll have to take full advantage of the Patriots' issues in the passing game. The two teams face off today at 1:00 PM ET in Gillette Stadium.

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