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Pats' Gronkowski needs surgery on arm

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Pats' Gronkowski needs surgery on arm

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski needs surgery on his broken left arm, a person with knowledge of the injury told The Associated Press.

Gronkowski was injured on the Patriots' eighth offensive play of Sunday's 41-28 victory over Houston. He previously missed five regular-season games and is done for these playoffs.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not released details of the injury.

``I'm not sure,'' coach Bill Belichick said after the game when asked if Gronkowski had broken his arm.

Asked if Gronkowski had been taken to a hospital, Belichick said, ``Look, I just walked off the field.''

He also said ``he wouldn't have played if he wasn't ready'' and that ``the doctors handle the medical decisions.''

The Patriots also lost running back Danny Woodhead for the game when he hurt his thumb carrying the ball on their first offensive play. The club provided no update on his condition.

Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones hurt his ankle later in the game.

The Patriots will be home against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game next Sunday with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl two weeks later.

Gronkowski had broken his left forearm while blocking for an extra point near the end of New England's 59-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18 and underwent surgery. He missed five games and returned for the regular-season finale, a 28-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.

He was reinjured just 6:44 into Sunday's game on a deep pass down the right sideline from Tom Brady. Gronkowski fell out of bounds as the pass dropped incomplete.

He sat on the bench, writhing in pain, while talking to team doctor Thomas Gill before heading to the locker room.

Brady provided no information on the condition of one of his most important teammates.

``I don't know anything about that,'' Brady said. ``I haven't heard anything.''

Gronkowski's teammates said that the team would miss him but that other players have to contribute.

``It's hard to replace a player like him because he's a freak of nature,'' tight end Aaron Hernandez said, ``but everyone has to step up and everyone has to keep making plays so we can keep it rolling. (He) definitely helps me out because so much attention is on him.

``It's a big loss and you can't replace a player like him.''

Last season, Gronkowski's status was listed as questionable for the Super Bowl just 48 hours before the New York Giants 21-17 victory. He had suffered a high sprain to his left ankle two weeks earlier in the Patriots' 23-20 win over the Ravens in the AFC championship game. That hampered him in the Super Bowl in which he had just two catches for 26 yards after a season in which he had 105 receptions, 15 of them in the other two postseason games.

After the season, he had arthroscopic surgery on the ankle.

On Sunday, backup tight end Michael Hoomanawanui got more action once Gronkowski left.

``I just saw him a little bit ago,'' Hoomanawanui said. ``A guy with that much talent, it stinks. There's no other way to put it. I went down with a knee injury last year that ended my season and you never want to see that for anyone, for an opponent, but let alone a guy that you spend a lot of time with each and every day.''

Asked if Gronkowski would miss the rest of the postseason, Hoomanawanui said, ``I haven't heard yet. He looks like he was hurting. I'm sure we'll find out here soon enough.''

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Former Ravens great Haloti Ngata retires on top of the world... literally

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Former Ravens great Haloti Ngata retires on top of the world... literally

Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata is one of the greatest Ravens in the franchise’s short history. He made five Pro Bowls in nine years in Baltimore after being selected 12th overall in the 2006 draft, helped lead the team to its second Super Bowl victory in 2013, and was regularly considered one of the best defensive players in the sport.

And yet, his most impressive feat might be his retirement announcement.

Ngata announced this week on Instagram that he was retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons, but it wasn’t your standard retirement. 

The hulking lineman hiked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to post a picture with a customized banner announcing his playing career is over. The banner mentions going out from the NFL “on top,” a fitting phrase for a man standing at Africa’s highest point.

19,341 feet above sea level. For reference, that’s nearly 121 full-length football fields.

Ngata was always a man who embraced challenges, and climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain certainly qualifies. He has an argument as a top-five player in team history, and now has an argument for top five retirement in league history as well.

The bar has now been set really, really high for future retirement announcements around sports. It’ll be tough to top this one, either in creativity or in literal height.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Earl Thomas shocked by Ravens' offer, Haloti Ngata announces retirement

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Earl Thomas shocked by Ravens' offer, Haloti Ngata announces retirement

Let's get this week started by getting you up-to-date on the latest Ravens news.

Player Notes:

The Ravens announced Friday they are planning on signing cornerback Justin Bethel to a two-year deal, pending a physical. A two-time Pro Bowler thanks to his special teams play, Bethel played 2018 with the Atlanta Falcons following a six-year run with the Arizona Cardinals. 

Former Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata announced his retirement in the most baller way; on top of Mount Kilamanjaro. 

The Ravens' first-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, Ngata spent nine seasons in Baltimore and earned five Pro Bowls along the way. 

If you were surprised by the Ravens signing safety Earl Thomas, you weren't the only one. Thomas himself admitted that the four-year, $55 million deal came at the last minute. 

“The Ravens were never in the picture,” Thomas told NBC Sports' Peter King. “I was shocked. I was blessed.”

The Ravens will have their hands full defending the AFC North title in 2019, according to Las Vegas. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has made the Browns +140 favorites to win the AFC North. With the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. last week, the Browns look to be real contenders this season. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

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