New England Patriots

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski missed the Patriots’ 38-31 win over the Bears with ankle and back injuries. But the latter issue is apparently not something to worry about long-term.

Watch above for Ian Rapoport’s latest on Gronkowski’s back injury, which cropped up late in the week and forced Gronk to stay in New England as the Patriots traveled to Chicago. He tells the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football that Gronkowski’s back injury is “not a long-term injury”, and that his back simply “locked up in practice”. The Patriots didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks with the superstar tight end, who was already slowed by an ankle injury.

The expectation, for now, is that Gronkowski won’t have to miss any more time with either injury. Gronkowski has 26 catches for 405 yards and just one touchdown through six games played in 2018.

Shorthanded against a talented Bears defense on the road, Tom Brady and the Patriots still scored 24 points on offense without Gronkowski. Josh Gordon stepped up to make dynamic plays in crucial situations, while James White scored his fifth and sixth receiving touchdowns of the season.

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