Retirement isn't easy for NFL players, especially for those who walk away from the game earlier than most.
Injuries are an awful and unfortunately all too common part of pro football, and the physical toll they take was at least a factor in former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck deciding to retire this year.
Gronkowski retired in March, and given his nine years of service to the Patriots and the injuries/surgeries he endured, the announcement wasn't a complete surprise. Luck's announcement Saturday night that he was leaving the game at age 29 was a huge shock, however.
“What he’s dealing with, it’s fixable. It’s fixable, you just got to go out there,” Gronkowski said. “You got to look for it, though. You can’t just sit on the couch and be like, ‘Oh, my leg hurts, my shoulder hurts, my ankle hurts,’ whatever it is. You got to go out there and you gotta search for it. You gotta search for answers. You gotta search what’s best for your body. You gotta search what’s best for you mentally.
"That’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been going out there searching, I’ve been trying new things, and it’s been an amazing journey. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been awesome. That’s just my only tip to him. I feel his pain, I feel where he’s at. Go out there, search for what you need to search for to get you back to that level because it’s attainable and it’s possible.”
Gronkowski has been keeping busy in his retirement, and that's often the best plan of attack after leaving a game you've been playing literally since childhood. Luck would be wise to follow that route as he recovers from the perpetual cycle of injuries and recovery that dominated his six-year career.
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