FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots speaks to Rob Gronkowski #87 after a first quarter touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

New England Patriots receive devastating injury news

Awful news.

Rob Gronkowski's back injury is worse than initially anticipated and the star tight end is reportedly slated to have back surgery on Friday:

Gronkowski, Brady's top weapon, has missed a chunk of the season with a hamstring injury. His latest injury is devastating to the Patriots, but only increases the reliance on tight end Martellus Bennett and wideout Malcolm Mitchell:

Here's where Gronk suffered the lung injury, and possibly the back injury:

Over his career, Gronk has suffered a fractured vertebra, broken forearm, torn ACL, sprained ankle and back strain. Arguably the best tight end in NFL history is probably one of the more injury-prone as well.