Everyone seems to want Rob Gronkowski to return to the NFL except Rob Gronkowski. The former New England Patriots tight end again shot down any chance at an NFL return Tuesday, saying he doesn’t “have that itch” right now.
Gronkowski, 30, made that comment while appearing on the Greg Hill Show. When asked what it would take for him to return, Gronkowski says he would have to “be feeling it” for a couple weeks. Gronkowski then says he’s not “feeling it” right now.
Rob Gronkowski on @TheGregHillShow asked again about what it would take to return: "I would have to be feeling it -- mentally, physically. ... Like a couple of weeks of me feeling it, like I need to play football again."— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 15, 2019
You're not feeling that now?
"No, I don't have that itch"
Since retiring, Gronkowski has answered a variation of that question on a weekly basis. He’s mostly responded the same way each time. It would take a lot for him to consider coming back, but he’s not there yet. People interpret each statement whatever way they want. Some focus on Gronkowski not ruling out a return. Others note that Gronkowski keeps shutting the door on coming back.
While it’s easy to assume Gronkowski still has something left in the tank physically, the former tight end has stressed that the physical and mental pain caused by the game have worn him down over the years. Gronkowski said the hit he took in Super Bowl LIII prevented him from sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time for weeks. Gronkowski has also admitted he had about 20 concussions while playing, and teared up while talking about how football was bringing him down near the end of his career.
Gronkowski is doing pretty well for himself in retirement. He joined Fox Sports in October and is an analyst with the network. That keeps Gronkowski close enough to the game, but far enough away that he doesn’t have to deal with any of the issues that led to his early retirement.
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