The Bucs suffered their first loss of the season to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but they briefly lost two key offensive pieces as well. TE Rob Gronkowski and RB Giovani Bernard were both down on the field for awhile at different points in Week 3. Gronkowski took a shot to the rib cage in the third quarter that had the veteran down for a few minutes. Eventually, the tight end walked off into the locker room for further examination.

“[It was] ribs,” head coach Bruce Arians said after the game. “X-rays came out negative. So, he’s fine.”

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today

It wasn’t Gronkowski’s best performance on Sunday, as he misplayed a couple of balls and dropped a big third down conversion early in the game. Still, his presence is a critical to a Bucs offense that lacks blocking at the tight end spot without him. Gronkowski reeled in four catches for 55 yards in Week 3. On the season, the 4-time All-Pro has 16 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns.

In a coming out game for Bernard in Tampa Bay, the veteran running back caught nine passes for 51 yards and a score. The touchdown came on the final offensive play of the game for the Bucs, with Bernard injured on a dive to the end zone. The former Bengal was struck in the knee while launching to cross the goal line. Bernard was down in pain for several moments, but may have avoided major injury.

“It looks like he’s fine,” Arians said. “We’ll see. It might swell on the plane, but that’s the worst thing about these types of things. Six hours or five hours on a plane, you swell a little bit more than normal.”

Arians had no update on CB Jamel Dean, who left in the first quarter with a lower body injury. Dean did not return to the game. He was replaced by Dee Delaney for the remainder of the contest.

Arians will speak to the Tampa Bay media at 2:30 pm on Monday.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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29 days ago

Gronk might be one of the toughest football players I’ve ever seen. Dude is gritty and not afraid to put his body out there. Gotta respect it.