Rob Gronkowski loss will be huge

On Friday, it was leaked that Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski has gotten sick and will likely be missing at least the first few games of the season.

On Saturday, Mike Stoops downplayed Gronkowski's sickness, calling it strep throat. Well, Gronkowski does have strep throat, but it's well known around the program that he also have mononucleosis, which is obviously not a good thing.

Arizona fans learned all too well what mono can do during the 2006-07 basketball season, when Kirk Walters contracted the disease and was forced to sit for the entire year.

Not only that, but when he came back the next year, he was a fraction of the player he was before and never regained his energy.

Now, Walters' scenario was probably the worst case scenario, but obviously this could be a serious problem for the Wildcats.

Arizona absolutely needs a huge season from Gronkowski if the Wildcats are going to make a bowl game. Unfortunately, the implications of Gronkowski's illness could go even further.

Gronkowski missing time this season could absolutely be the difference between a couple wins and losses. And one extra loss could force Stoops out of his job.

So while Arizona fans are miserable with the news that Gronkowski could be out for a while, there can't be anyone more upset about it than Stoops.

This is a player who, as a true freshman, proved himself as one of the best players at his position in UA history. He's a sophomore now and when fully healthy could be the top tight end in the country.

Arizona might not need him to win every game, but the team has been game planning around him all summer long and it would be a massive shot if the Wildcats were to be without him for much longer than the first two games.

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