The Patriots announced Gronkowski would not return to the game and that he had X-rays. An ESPN video showed Gronkowski walking from the X-ray room to the Patriots’ locker room with a slight limp.
A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that although Gronkowski will undergo further testing, the injury “doesn’t appear to be serious.”
Gronkowski suffered the injury with 2:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Denver defensive back Darian Stewart hit him low on an incomplete pass. Gronkowski’s leg whipped back as it made contact with Stewart.
Gronkowski immediately writhed in pain on the ground before being tended to by the Patriots medical staff and eventually carted to the locker room. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick came to check on Gronkowski in a reflection of the severity of the situation.
New England saw its pursuit of an undefeated season end without Gronkowski, losing in overtime, 30-24.
Losing Gronkowski would be a devastating blow for the Patriots, though they have experience playing without him. Gronkowski broke his forearm Nov. 18, 2012, and tore his ACL on Dec. 8, 2013.
The Patriots, who entered the game with a 10-0 record, already have been decimated by injuries to star receiver Julian Edelman, starting left tackle Nate Solder, running back Dion Lewis and receiver Danny Amendola.