Rob Gronkowski Says He Does Jigsaw Puzzles to Help With Stress and Mental Sharpness

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is doing anything and everything he can to stay in shape physically and mentally. Gronk has suffered his share of concussions and when he announced his retirement earlier this year, he has started a special nutritional program that includes physical therapy, training and even doing jigsaw puzzles which is something talks about on the latest edition of the CBS News show, CBS Sunday Morning.

“It just lowered my stress levels just the way, you know, I was feeling,” Gronkowski said to Reena Ninan when talking about doing puzzles. “I just, you know, just always anxious, always going. And I just needed to finally find some downtime to just relax.”

Gronk went on to say the puzzles also help with his mental sharpness.

“Just started improving my, you know, problem-solving skills, too, on top of it,” he says. “It was crazy. My brain was just clicking. It was just going. It was all on wheels.”

Gronkowski left the game right at the prime of his career as he helped the team win the Super Bowl and he's only 30 years old. He explained to Ninan the reason he called it a career at a young age.

“I just wasn’t feeling like myself anymore,” Gronkowski said. “That’s basically the main reason. The lifestyle caught up to me and I was just fighting my way through the last two years. It wasn’t enjoyable anymore. I just knew that’s when it’s time to go – and walk away.”

There were thoughts that Gronkowski was planning to return to the Patriots this year to help them win another Super Bowl. However, the deadline for him to return to the NFL was this past weekend so fans will have to wait until the start of the 2020 season to see if the former All-Pro tight end makes a return. And while he has no plans to come back, Gronk is not ruling it out either.

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"I wouldn't say 'never coming back,'" Gronkowski said to Mike Reiss of ESPN. "I'm 30 years old. I'm young. I still stay fit, still watch the game whenever I can, still enjoy it. I'm feeling good, but you know, one year off could possibly be the case. Or maybe two years off, man."

Gronkowski's interview on CBS Sunday Morning will air on Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. ET.