DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on in the second half against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Already down Tom Brady, the Patriots will be without another top weapon against the Cardinals

The football gods aren't making Jimmy Garoppolo's first start an easy one.

You'd think losing Tom Brady for the first four games of the season would be all the bad luck the Patriots would catch this year.

That couldn't be further from the truth, as their biggest weapon, tight end Rob Gronkowski, didn't travel with the team and will not play Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals.

Offensive lineman Nate Solder and Jonathan Cooper will also be unavailable.

Gronk was limited in practice all week with a hamstring injury, making for one heck of a loss for Brady's replacement Jimmy Garoppolo, who's making his first NFL start Sunday night.

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When healthy, Gronk is easily the best tight end in the NFL, but the issue has always been his health.

Since his rookie season, Gronk has more touchdowns (65) and receiving yards (5,555) than any tight end, while leading everyone in total touchdowns (66, including one rushing TD) over the same span.

Without him, Garoppolo will have to rely solely on newly acquired Martellus Bennett as his red zone target.

Gronk has missed 15 games in his six-year career. The Patriots are hoping that it grows to 16 and stays there.