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While it seems highly unlikely that Rob Gronkowski will play come Thursday night, Belichick is typically not saying much about Gronk's status for the game or that of the other dynamic playmaker Aaron Hernandez.

Gronkowski underwent surgery Monday, and even though tight-lipped coach Bill Belichick didn't rule him out on Thursday, it's obvious that he will miss significant time.

The Patriots other starting tight end Aaron Hernandez, who has missed the past four games with an ankle injury, is expected to return Thursday.

“Everyone here is hurt by it, especially him. But I’m sure he’ll be all right and get back fast. It’s tough. He’s obviously one of the best players in the league, but we have a lot of players and everyone has to step up to fill the void," Hernandez said Monday.

With the Jets win on Sunday and the added factor of Gronk's unlikely status for the game, I think that Jets fans are getting more hopeful than they might have been a week ago ... I know that I am ... but I don't know if in the end it will change the outcome of the game.

Gronk is more or less indefensible with his massive frame and athleticism at this point in his career and has made it easy work for Brady to find a go to target as we saw in the last game on that utterly impossible defensive play for Landry on the touchdown.  Landry did pretty much everything he could and still couldn't prevent the score.  Gronk has been an important factor for the Pats and maybe if anything his inability to play spreads out the distribution of where Brady will look to get the ball in the game and make it harder to for the Jets defense to determine where Brady will go with the ball.  The Jets are going to have to do their best to spring traps on Brady and make him throw the ball where they want him to, in order to slow him down some.  

Tags: NYJets , Brian Bassett
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