New England Patriots

Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) canÕt hang on to a pass in the end zone in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady’s return will come without his long-term running mate in New England. Tight end Rob Gronkowski won’t play in the game, as first reported by ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.

Gronkowski was injured in the Buccaneers’ Week 3 game when he was on the other end of a big hit from Rams’ linebacker Terrell Lewis. He briefly left the game, but did return. The 32-year-old missed practice all week.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski won’t make the trip to Foxborough for the game. That makes Brady and Antonio Brown the only former Patriots set to return with the Bucs.

Not having Gronkowski is a blow to the Buccaneers’ offense. So far this season, he’s totaled 16 catches for 184 yards and a team-high four touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have eight players questionable for the game Sunday night. Trent Brown (calf) is a player to keep an eye on – he’s missed the previous two weeks.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.