Rob Gronkowski won't play tonight vs. Buccaneers

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Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots stands on the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Tom Brady has thrown for more yards to Rob Gronkowski than anyone else in his long career.

The 28-year-old leads the Patriots in receiving yards (318) to go along with his 20 catches and two touchdowns in four games. According to The Washington Post, the Patriots haven't been under.500 at least five games into a season since Week 8 of 2002. He only missed two regular-season games between 2014-15, but last season missed eight regular-season games and the entire postseason as he dealt with a herniated disk.

"It's definitely a challenge".

If the Patriots are going to beat the Buccaneers on Thursday night, they'll need to score a ton of points, considering how bad their defense has been to this point in the season.

For a defense dealing with several key injuries, the playing field just got a little more evened out for the Buccaneers side of the ball.

"Just to prepare for a Thursday night game is totally a lot different", Gronkowski said of his preparation.

"You're on top of it right away", he continued. But to be ready, to be prepared, you've got to go full in this week.

Gronkowski, of course, is an All-Pro tight end and a major factor in the Patriots offense.

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