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Patriots stay on script about Rob Gronkowski

FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski paid a short visit to Gillette Stadium Tuesday morning, but his teammates won’t have him on the field for the foreseeable future, an absence that figures to be a closely watched story the next few weeks.

To a man — talking points? — the Patriots are saying pretty much the same thing about Gronkowski, who had surgery Monday morning for a broken left forearm and is expected to miss 4-8 weeks.

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Wes Welker: “You always hate to see that, especially with a great player like him. Other guys just have to step up, collectively, all making plays, making sure we’re doing our jobs.”

Julian Edelman: “It’s tough. It’s just part of the game and we’re just going to have to move forward.”

Stevan Ridley: “Gronk’s a vital part, but we have other teammates who have to step up and get the job done. That’s what we’re going to try to do, the best we can as a unit. So for us, we’ve just got to keep playing football and hope that Gronk recovers quick and he’ll be back as soon as he can. It’s called a ‘team’ for a reason, man.”

Tom Brady: “He’s been a very productive player, so other guys just have to step into that spot and do the job. That’s what it comes down to. That’s football and every team deals with it at one point or another. He’s a tough guy to replace, but that’s what we need to do.”

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