New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may have just hours to live after his high-ankle sprain has reportedly become even more serious.
"You know I don't like giving out a lot of injury information, but please keep Rob in your thoughts and prayers," said an emotional Bill Belichick at a press conference today. "He has been downgraded from day-to-day and all we can do now is hope for the best and that Rob might have as much comfort as possible in whatever time he has left."
Gronkowski, New England's leading receiver, missed the team's practice yesterday and his high ankle sprain has spread even higher — into his kidneys, liver and lungs.
"Right now we're working to keep the high ankle sprain for getting to his heart," said Dr. Thomas Gill, Patriots team physician. "If it gets that high, there's nothing we can do."
The Patriots say their 22 year-old tight end has a "do not resuscitate" order, or DNR, in place should the ankle sprain stop his breathing.
Patriots fans have begun gathering around New England's downtown Indianapolis hotel in a sort of impromptu vigil. Many are holding candles, while other have brought flowers, and still others arrived with ice or heating pads. The crowd grew more concerned when Gronkowski didn't come to his hotel room window to acknowledge them, but a Giants source says that was because the tight end was in bed watching "Paranormal Activity 3" on his iPad.
"We're pretty confident that the Patriots are just milking this so we think he's not playing," said Tom Coughlin. "A maid at their hotel saw him jumping rope this morning on his bed."