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Sunday, January 13, 2013
Players react to Gronkowski news

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Reaction from the Patriots' locker room on news that tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the remainder of the playoffs after re-injuring his forearm:

Guard Logan Mankins: "I just found out that [from reporter's question]. It's always a tough break. Everyone on the team loves Rob. Loves him as a person, player. It's a tough break for him, and it's always a tough break for our team, but whoever gets put in that spot, they have to do that job. We're all counting on him."

Linebacker Jerod Mayo: "We have that ‘next man up’ mentality, no matter who gets hurt. My rookie year Tom [Brady] got hurt and we won 11 games. Depending on what they say about him, we’ll adjust. ... Obviously we’re disappointed because we’re a family. Gronk brings lot laugher to meeting room. Anytime we’re not at full strength, and we don’t have all the guys out there it’s obviously disappointing, but we have other guys waiting for opportunity to play.’’

Wide receiver Wes Welker: "It's unfortunate, but guys have got to step up, and guys have got to come out, make plays and make up for his absence. ... I think we've showed that guys can step up and play that role, and everybody kind of upped their game. We've all got to step up."

Tight end Aaron Hernandez: "It's hard to replace a player like him because he's a freak of nature. Everyone has to step up, and everyone has to keep making plays so we can keep it going ... It definitely helps me out [when he's on the field], because someone potentially is on him. Like I said, everyone has to step up, it's a big loss and you can't replace a player like that."

Quarterback Tom Brady: "We had a whole plan built for him and for [Danny Woodhead]. We run the first series of the game and all those plans change. I think a little bit was, 'What are we going to do now, how are we going to adjust?' We seemed to settle in there midway through the first quarter and put together a pretty good game. Obviously, it's a bummer to lose anybody, someone of Rob's importance or Danny's importance, we need guys to step in and fill the void whether it's this game or any game here after."