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Gronkowski out for season

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is carted off after a severe knee injury in Sunday’s game against the Browns.

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is carted off after a severe knee injury in Sunday’s game against the Browns.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Patriots must get used to missing Rob Gronkowski again.

The star tight end, who missed the first six games while recovering from surgeries, is done for the season after being placed on injured reserve Monday with a damaged right knee.

That experience could help the Patriots handle his absence.

"I'd like to think there's going to be some carryover there, not only (from) the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well," coach Bill Belichick said Monday.

Gronkowski was hurt in third quarter of Sunday's 27-26 win over Cleveland. He was hit by safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception.

The Patriots were 5-1 while Gronkowski recovered from offseason operations on his left forearm and back. In the next six games, he led NFL tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards receiving and the offense was much more productive.

Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL and damaged MCL, the Associated Press reported.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he didn't know if Ward's hit resulted from a reluctance to hit and possibly incur a fine for helmet-first contact.

Mathieu tears ACL: Tyrann Mathieu's terrific rookie season ended as the Cardinals placed the safety on injured reserve with a torn left ACL. Arizona coach Bruce Arians confirmed Mathieu will have surgery. Mathieu, nicknamed "Honey Badger" at LSU, was injured returning a free kick after a safety on Sunday against St. Louis.

RG3 benching?: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he might bench a "100 percent" healthy Robert Griffin III for the season to keep the quarterback from getting hurt with Washington out of playoff contention. Last season RG3, who has been sacked 24 times in the past five games, had major knee surgery. Also, Shanahan declined to answer questions about his coaching future.

BRONCOS: Wide receiver Wes Welker is unlikely to play Thursday against San Diego after leaving Sunday's win over Tennessee with his second concussion in four games.

FALCONS: Offensive coordinator and former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter interviewed for the Boise State head coaching position, Atlanta coach Mike Smith confirmed.

PANTHERS: An MRI exam showed backup running back Jonathan Stewart tore the MCL in his right knee Sunday night at New Orleans, but coach Ron Rivera was optimistic that he could return this season.

Ravens: Receiver Brandon Stokeley received at least his 14th concussion on Sunday, profootballtalk.com reported.

Gronkowski out for season 12/09/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 9, 2013 11:35pm]

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