Patriots

Report: Rob Gronkowski's back injury a factor in retirement, potential return

Report: Rob Gronkowski's back injury a factor in retirement, potential return

Rob Gronkowski played through a lot of pain last year. And if he decides to come out of retirement, he'll likely have to do the same.

It's been widely reported that injuries played a factor in the New England Patriots tight end's decision to step away from football at age 29. Among those injuries was a bulging disc in Gronkowski's back that NFL Media's Mike Giardi reported might need surgery at some point this offseason.

In his column Monday for The MMQB, Albert Breer confirmed Gronkowski's back injury played a role in his retirement decision and could dissuade him from attempting a comeback:

One reason why Gronkowski scuffled through 2018 was a mid-season battle with a bulging disk in his back. By the end of the year, it was no longer a factor. But I’m told that knowing how close he might have been to a fourth back surgery, and the implications that could have down the line, was one factor in his decision to retire.

So just logically, it’d be hard to imagine that concern would go away at 30 years old. Or, at the very least, would be one mental hurdle he’d have to clear if he were to come back again.

Gronkowski already has undergone three back surgeries and spoke openly this past season about the punishment his body has taken. Some current and former NFL players refuse to believe Gronk is done playing, but the affable All-Pro seems to be enjoying post-retirement life, with WWE cameos and appearances at Boston sporting events occupying part of his time.

In short: Gronk had good reason to retire, and while the door isn't totally shut on his 2019 return, it seems like he'd need a very good reason to suit up again.

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Michael Holley Podcast: Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band - Why he loves music, and how Super Bowl LI was as a Falcons fan

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Michael Holley Podcast: Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band - Why he loves music, and how Super Bowl LI was as a Falcons fan

Michael talks to Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band about music, his Boston connection and what it was like as Falcons fan to watch the Patriots Super Bowl LI comeback

3:00 - Clay explains why he chose to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and how he and good friend John Mayer began their music careers together.
 

4:30 - Clay talks about which instruments he can play, tells the story about how he fell in love with the guitar and how he decided to turn his musical talents into a career.
 

9:00 - Clay discusses his relationship with John Mayer.

13:00 - Clay talks about being an Atlanta Falcons fan, his experience being at the Patriots’ comeback win in Super Bowl LI and how he respects Boston sports fans.

20:00 - Clay discusses being an Atlanta Hawks ball boy for a small period of time in the late 80s and early 90s and watching some all-time greats like Dominique Wilkins and Doc Rivers. 

23:30 - Clay talks about his approach to singing the national anthem and his past experiences doing so.

28:00 - Clay talks about touring with Zac Brown Band and how the band still isn’t as popular as most people think.

32:00 - Clay finishes up by giving one thing he loves about his industry and one thing he would change.

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE HERE:

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Julian Edelman puts percentage on chance Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots

Julian Edelman puts percentage on chance Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots

Rob Gronkowski says he's done with football, but his pal Julian Edelman isn't 100-percent convinced.

Edelman discussed Gronk's retirement on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast and was asked to give a percentage on the former tight end returning to the Patriots somewhere down the line.

"I’d say, maybe, an 11 percent chance,” Edelman answered.

Sure, that may be a cop-out response considering 11 happens to be Edelman's jersey number, but Patriots fans can at least find solace in the fact he didn't say "zero."

Edelman also says while he hasn't had a conversation with Gronkowski about the injuries taking a toll on the 30-year-old throughout his career, he could tell Gronk was banged up last season.

”When you’re banged up, football’s not always fun," Edelman said. "I can speak for myself on that. When you’re dealing with things — ankle, foot, back … Football is amazing when you feel great. … But it’s not easy, especially when you get older and have accumulated a lot of injury. So, you started seeing that it was tougher [for Gronkowski]. It gets tougher for everyone."

Gronkowski seems adamant he's staying retired, but he's certainly gotten a kick out of trolling those who believe he'll eventually return to the gridiron.

Time will tell whether the future Hall-of-Famer will change his mind. Until then, you can bet Gronk will continue living every moment of retired life to the fullest.

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