Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Monday that losing tight end Rob Gronkowski to a broken arm Sunday vs. the Colts means it’s time for other players to rise to the occasion.
“He’s such a great player,” Brady on his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan program. “It sucks that he gets hurt, but it’s part of this game, so he’s got to do his best to get back as soon as possible and we’ve got to go out there and win some games without him.”
Gronkowski is expected to undergo surgery Monday. A timetable for a return isn’t know, but it isn’t expected to be a season-ending injury. Brady said there are other players who will have to step up if the team wants to continue its winning streak.
“He does a lot for us,” said Brady. “But I think there’s a reason you have other guys on the roster too ... Everyone’s gotta get in there and start making up for having Gronk out so that’s just part of it and you have to find ways to adjust... We still gotta go out there and win.”
Brady had nothing but praise for his offensive line in the Patriots’ 59-24 win over the Colts Sunday.
“I thought our guys were playing great last night,” Brady said. “A quarterback’s only as good as the guys around you and the way the receivers played, the way the tight ends played, the offensive line makes my job so easy ... That was a great team performance and when we play like that we’re going to be tough to beat, there’s no question about it.”
The Patriots will travel to New York to face the Jets on Thanksgiving Day. Brady said it’s the mental toughness of the team that will pull them through playing two games in five days.
“Our goal is to go out there and really just put them [the Jets] behind us,” said Brady. “We beat them once, it would be a huge game to beat them twice. We’d have a lot of tiebreaker advantages over them if we beat them, but that was a big win for them yesterday [against the Rams] ... It’s not easy to go on the road in the NFL and win and they did ... I have a lot of respect for that team and the way they play. They play hard; it’s always a challenging game versus them ... They’re going to give everything they’ve got, they’re going to be ready to go too and they always give us their best shot, so that’s what we’re expecting.”