Rob Gronkowski, Sony Michel both out for Patriots

New England Patriots

The Patriots will be missing two very big pieces of their offense when they face the Packers.

As the New England Patriots get set to take on one of their toughest test of the season — Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football — they have received some news that isn’t quite ideal.

Rob Gronkowski, their superstar tight end who has been a crucial part of this offense for years, and Sony Michel, their rookie running back who has really hit the ground running in recent weeks, will both be inactive against the Packers.

The absence of these two pieces could severely hinder New England’s ability to move the ball. Just six days ago, the Patriots played in Buffalo on Monday Night Football without Michel, while Gronkowski was limited to just three receptions. In that game, they struggled to get into the end zone, settling for nothing but field goals all the way up until the fourth quarter, when James White finally found a way to get across the goal line.

It wasn’t a problem against the Bills. But let’s be honest, the Bills and the Packers are two completely different beasts. Buffalo had Derek Anderson starting at quarterback, and only managed six points all game via a pair of field goals.

This time, the Patriots will be facing Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks of all time and a player who will always keep the Packers in the game no matter who they are facing. Last week, Green Bay came just short of ending the Los Angeles Rams’ undefeated season. While their 3-3-1 record doesn’t look outstanding on paper, you never know what could happen when Rodgers is on the field.

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Plain and simple, the Patriots won’t be able to beat the Packers if they can only score field goals. They will need touchdowns, and no matter how great Tom Brady is, those will be much more difficult to come by without Michel and Gronkowski.

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