Patriots

Rob Gronkowski chokes up reliving painful NFL career, but open to comeback

Rob Gronkowski chokes up reliving painful NFL career, but open to comeback

We've mostly heard speculation about Rob Gronkowski's future since he retired in March.

But the former New England Patriots tight end tackled the rumors head-on Tuesday.

After announcing a partnership with the CBD company CBDMedic during a press conference in New York, Gronkowski fielded the expected questions about when (or if) he'd return to football.

And in a rare moment of vulnerability, the ex-Patriots tight end broke down while discussing the intense pain that forced him to retire.

"I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover," Gronkowski told the audience. "I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down, and I didn't like it. I was losing that joy in life, like, the joy. I'm sorry, but -- I really was. I was fighting through it."

Gronkowski credited CBD with helping him manage the pain of nine surgeries and countless other injuries. He also said he's in a good place with his health, and raised eyebrows by admitting he's physically capable of returning to football right now.

"Physically, I'll be ready. I could play right now if I wanted to play, hands down," Gronk said. "I can run fast right now, I'm feeling good. Physically-wise, I can do it. Mentally, desire-wise, it's not there."

Gronkowski indeed left the door wide open for a comeback, hedging that stance by insisting he won't return to the NFL unless he's in the right mental space.

"I truly believe I can get to another level with my body," Gronk said. " ... And when that time comes down the future, if I have the desire, if I feel passionate about football again, if I'm feeling like I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football.

"But as of right now, that is not the case. It could be the case in six months, it could be the case in two years, could be the case in three years, could be the case in three months. But I truly don't see it in the foreseeable future,  in like a week or a month. No. I want to do a different chapter in my life right now."

The 30-year-old even referenced his Patriots contract, which had one year remaining before he retired.

"I've got one year left on my contract," he added. "I'm not even sure how the one-year contract works. I'm pretty sure if I come back in two years, I'm still with the Patriots for a year."

Gronkowski clearly hasn't put the NFL in his rearview mirror, and he seems open to returning to the Patriots one day. But it sounds like he won't make that decision lightly.

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Rob Gronkowski to make 'big announcement' on Tuesday

Rob Gronkowski to make 'big announcement' on Tuesday

Rob Gronkowski is making waves on social media once again.

On his Instagram story, the retired New England Patriots tight end told his followers that he had a "big announcement" planned for Tuesday afternoon. Gronkowski said that the announcement would take place on his Instagram page at 9 a.m. and would be "fun" and "wild" and "a good time".

You can see the video for yourself courtesy of NFL writer Dov Kleiman.

Gronkowski's video is cryptic in nature, so it will obviously lead to speculation regarding a potential return to the Patriots. That said, it's worth noting that Gronk has been adamant that he doesn't want to come out of retirement to play tight end for the team. So, it seems highly unlikely that he has had a last-minute change of heart.

Still, it's something to keep an eye on, especially since Gronk's deadline to come out of retirement and play again this season is Saturday, Nov. 30.

But again, more likely than not, this is just a savvy business decision by Gronkowski to essentially announce his intent to make an announcement to attract the attention of a larger audience.

The Patriots will continue to operate with Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, and Ryan Izzo as their three-man unit at tight end. They'll have to hope that one of them can step up and give them some production at the tight end position, which has been a problem for the offense in 2019.

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Patriots vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 11 game online

Patriots vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 11 game online

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will meet at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday for the most-anticipated NFL game on the Week 11 slate.

Both teams are desperate for a win.

The Patriots have a slim 1-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed, while the Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East race.

This will be the first matchup between these teams since the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII back in February of 2018. Both rosters have changed quite a bit since that night in Minnesota, but several of the most pivotal players on both sides are still around, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady's offense could receive a boost Sunday with the potential pro debut of rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry. Harry was New England's first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his addition into the offense should give the Pats another downfield receiving threat who can make tough catches in traffic. The Patriots suffered their first loss of the season to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, and they've had two weeks to prepare for the Eagles after enjoying a Week 10 bye.

Here’s how and when to watch Patriots vs. Eagles online. Be sure to also watch “Pregame Live” at 1 p.m. ET and “Postgame Live” at 7:30 p.m. ET, all on NBC Sports Boston. Michael Holley, Albert Breer, Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, Ted Johnson, D.J. Bean and former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel will break down the game from every angle.

When: Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:25 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: FuboTV

NFL Week 11 picks against the spread>>>

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