The New England Patriots released the following statement Gronkowski following the news that he was undergoing surgery for a ruptured disk.
“During the Seattle game on November 13, Rob sustained a hit to the chest that resulted in a pulmonary contusion to his lung. Rob was examined by several specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital as directed by the team, as well as an independent physician. He received medical clearance to return to play two weeks later for the New York Jets game on November 27. A“After a hit early in the Jets game, Rob began to experience significant back and leg pain. This injury forced him to leave the game and he did not return. With the help of the Patriots medical staff, along with the consultation of several medical experts, it has been determined that it is in Rob’s best long-term interest to undergo surgery to address his lower back injury. Rob is expected to have surgery tomorrow. We do not expect that he will be able to play for the remainder of the 2016 season, but will await the results of tomorrow’s surgery before making a final determination. Rob has always been one of our hardest workers and was voted captain for the leadership he provides on our team. We are deeply saddened any time a player is lost to injury. We are committed to assisting Rob throughout his recovery and look forward to his return to playing football for the New England Patriots.”
Gronkowski, 27, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2010. He’s currently in the fifth year of his eight-year, $55.23 million contract that included $13.17 million guaranteed.
Gronkowski has outplayed this contract by a mile and is one of the most underpaid players in the NFL, especially with the new contracts signed by tight ends. He stands to make base salaries of $2.25 million (2016), $4.25 million (2017), $8 million (2018) and $9 million (2019) over the remainder of the contract.
In 2016, Gronkowski has appeared in seven games for the Patriots and caught 25 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 tight end out of 64 qualifying players.
Foster, 23, wound up signing a three-year, $1.62 million contract with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State back in May. He was set to make base salaries of $450,000 and $540,000 over the next two years when the Patriots waived him on Monday to make room for DT Darius Kilgo” href=”http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/K/KilgDa01.htm?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Darius Kilgo, who was claimed off waivers from the Broncos.
He has bounced on and off New England’s practice squad this season.
In 2016, Foster has appeared in three games for the Patriots and rushed for 24 yards on seven carries (3.4 YPC) to go along with one reception for two yards receiving and no touchdowns.