The Patriots know that when it comes to a Rob Gronkowski suspension, things are out of their hands.

"Anything that is out of our control," Bill Belichick said on Monday morning before Gronkowski's one-game ban was announced, "such as injuries that could go down to pregame workouts and so forth . . . Things that are out of our control are out of our control. We’ll address the things that we can address."

If the Patriots are forced to go without Gronkowski -- he's appealing the suspension -- they'll be down their most dynamic offensive weapon. But his absence is something that they've obviously dealt with in the past, and as recently as Week 5 in Tampa Bay.

Gronkowski was a late scratch from that game with a leg injury, and the Patriots eventually edged the Bucs, 19-14, with their All-Pro tight end watching from the sidelines. Tom Brady threw the ball 40 times, relying on receivers Chris Hogan (11 targets), Brandin Cooks (eight), Danny Amendola (eight) and running back James White (nine). Only one tight end, Jacob Hollister, saw a pass sent his way.