Later Sunday night, not only did the Patriots suffer their first loss, but they watched star Rob Gronkowski be carted off the field with a knee injury. He is listed as week-to-week with a bruised right knee.
Graham suffered his injury early in the fourth quarter when he went after an underthrown ball and landed awkwardly. The team announced that their newly-acquired tight end will require surgery.
The 29-year-old had 48 catches for 605 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the team, in which he played in all 11 games. The team spoke on how heartbreaking this loss is as they contend for a playoff spot with a 6-5 record. One thing they do know is that when Graham comes back, he will be stronger than ever.
Gronkowski's injury looked much worse on Sunday night, but the results are far more relieving for New England. Gronk suffered the injury with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter after a hit from Broncos defensive back Darian Stewart. An MRI on Monday showed the bruising, but luckily no tears, which will not keep him out as long.
He was seen walking out of the X-Ray room on Monday with a slight limp. The Patriots' tight end is not expected to play this week against Philadelphia. The team says his return date will depend on the Pro Bowler's pain tolerance. Despite that, Gronkowski is expected to return before the end of the regular season.
These two injuries could play big roles in the playoff chase down the stretch. The 10-1 Patriots are nearly guaranteed a playoff spot, but if their star isn't healthy for the postseason, a second straight Super Bowl berth could be out of reach. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are barely hanging on to a wild card spot in the NFC, and the loss of their biggest offensive weapon may lead them to losing that grip as December nears.