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Season-ending forearm injury to Rob Gronkowski could help Ravens' defense

FootballNew England PatriotsAFCChandler JonesDanny WoodheadArthur Jones

The Ravens' defensive task got a bit easier with a pivotal piece of the New England Patriots' high-octane offense out for the season.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his left forearm again, an injury sustained during an AFC divisional round playoff win over the Houston Texans that will require season-ending surgery.

Gronkowski is one of the most dynamic young offensive players in the game, so his absence should affect the matchups for the Ravens' AFC championship game against New England.

Gronkowski caught 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns this season despite dealing with the forearm injury.

Michael Hoomanawanui will replace Gronkowski in the Patriots' two tight end sets opposite Aaron Hernandez.

The Patriots' other injuries include starting rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, a first-round draft pick and the younger brother of Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones. Jones didn't return after hurting his ankle in the second quarter.

Versatile running back Danny Woodhead left the game with a thumb injury.

The Ravens' most notable injury coming out of the Denver game was rookie running back Bernard Pierce continuing to have issues with his knee.

awilson@baltsun.com

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FootballNew England PatriotsAFCChandler JonesDanny WoodheadArthur Jones
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