Gronkowski (left ankle) departs, returns

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski appeared to suffer a left ankle injury late in the third quarter of Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Gronkowski hauled in a 23-yard reception, but Ravens safety Bernard Pollard -- the same Pollard whose low tackle caused Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to tear his ACL in the 2008 season-opener against the Chiefs and was in the vicinity when Wes Welker tore his ACL in the 2009 regular-season finale against the Texans -- came down on top of him making the tackle and Gronkowski's left ankle bent at an odd angle.

Gronkowski got to his feet, but hobbled badly trying to get off the field. He needed help from trainers and departed for the locker room.

[Update: Gronkowski returned to the field with 12:19 to play in the fourth quarter.]