Gronkowski, a horse named after and partly owned by the New England Patriots tight end, suffered an unspecified "setback" in his run-up toward the Kentucky Derby, trainer Jeremy Noseda told RacingPost.com, per ESPN.
Gronk acquired a minority stake in Gronkowski, a three-year-old colt, last Thursday, but has yet to meet the horse. The equine is undefeated in three races on synthetic tracks in England, but has never won a race on a dirt track, like that at Churchill Downs. A press release sent out last week acknowledged that, like the tight end, Gronkowski the horse is "big and strong" and is six-foot-five.
In a cruel twist, they have now both suffered injuries before monumental events. Gronkowski, the human, almost missed Super Bowl LII after suffering a concussion in the AFC Championship Game. Gronk cleared protocol with days to spare before the big game and went on to score two touchdowns in a narrow loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The question now is can Gronkowski the horse clear medical tests, like his homo sapien namesake, and take his place on his sport's biggest stage?
The nation, neigh, the world holds its breath.
UPDATE:Mere hours after reports of Gronkowski the horse's "setback" surfaced, Phoenix Thoroughbred, his management team, announced that the colt will be held out of the Kentucky Derby after "spiking a fever over the weekend."
Adjust your fantasy furlong team accordingly.
UPDATE, AGAIN: Gronkowski, the anthropoid, has released a statement on his horse's unfortunate illness.