Rob Gronkowski tried to squash the comeback rumors. But the rest of the NFL apparently isn't buying it.

Three days after the former New England Patriots tight end told everyone to put the rumors he'll return from retirement "to rest," Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman shared the following:

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made a public appearance recently and said he was done with football. What I can tell you is few people, including sources on the Patriots, believe that.

The belief is that once the season gets going, and Gronkowski starts missing football, he will rejoin the team. It's not just a hunch, sources say; you can count on it.

That's a pretty strong belief from Freeman's sources, especially considering a recent report that Gronk's back injury played a role in his decision to retire.

The All-Pro tight end is barely over 30, though, and his former team is thin at tight end: Matt LaCosse tops New England's depth chart with Ben Watson suspended for the first four games and Austin Seferian-Jenkins released Tuesday.

It's worth noting that if Gronk is serious about a return, he'll have to make it before Dec. 1 (Week 13) if he wants to play in the postseason.

 

The Patriots are likely to at least begin the season with a Gronk-sized hole at tight end, but it appears there's still a chance he fills it.

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