Rob Gronkowski's back injury is worse than initially feared and the All-Pro tight end will now need back surgery.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday afternoon that Gronkowski has a herniated disc in his back and will have surgery on Friday. 

Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reported that Gronkowski is likely to miss eight weeks. Eight weeks from Friday is Jan. 27, which is the bye week prior to the Super Bowl in Houston.

It's possible that Gronkowski could come back sooner, but the history has shown the Patriots and the Gronkowski family to be extra cautious when it comes to injury concerning the tight end. A major reason Gronkowski fell to the second round in the 2010 NFL Draft was because of the threat of back problems.