When tight end Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL following a victory in Super Bowl LIII, there were immediate questions about when he would be making a return to the field. After all, the Arizona product was only 29 years old at the time and was a dominant figure at his position. Well, a return hasn't been teased, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft has expressed to his former player that he wants him back in November, December, and for the playoffs.
Per league sources, Kraft made this sentiment clear when Gronkowski was cleaning out his locker following the season. Additionally, he reportedly said that the team would welcome the tight end with open arms upon his return. After nine games, Gronkowski has not made a return to the Patriots, but he is quickly running out of time to do so.
According to Rapoport, the former tight end has not made any moves toward a return, but the Patriots still remain hopeful that this will happen in the coming weeks.
From @NFLGameDay: #Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Rob Gronkowski he wants him back for November, December, and the playoffs. But the clock is ticking until the deadline of Nov. 30 (https://t.co/oUhq0cWR3K) pic.twitter.com/XqgegtEAEa— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 10, 2019
"One of the biggest questions going forward for the Patriots over the next couple of weeks is 'will Rob Gronkowski return?'" NFL insider Ian Rapoport said on Sunday morning. "Here is what we know: Gronk needs to make a decision by week 13. More specifically, November 30th at 4:00 p.m."
If Gronkowski does not make his return to the Patriots prior to that November 30 deadline, he will have to remain on the reserve/retired list and will not be on the roster for the expected playoff run.
The New England Patriots are 8-1 and headed for the playoffs, but the offense hasn't been as consistent as in recent years. Tom Brady has seen an ever-changing roster of surrounding talent with the departures of Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon, as well as the addition of Mohamed Sanu. He also doesn't have that proven red-zone threat outside of Julian Edelman.
Adding Gronkowski back to the lineup would alleviate some of these issues in theory. Although the talented tight end would have to focus on gaining back some of the mass he lost following his retirement.
Will Gronkowski rejoin his former team as the playoff race truly heats up? The answer is unknown at this point, but the Patriots owner is hoping for a reunion.
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