Fresh off the heels of announcing that he would be hosting a Super Bowl party this February, former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has shut down the possibility of a return to the NFL. As he explained to ESPN, he has "no plans" to return in the 2019 season. Although Gronkowski did leave the door open for a potential comeback in the future.
"I wouldn't say 'never coming back,'" Gronkowski said to Mike Reiss on Tuesday. "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."
As Gronkowski continued to explain, he is still in shape and could make a return from a physical standpoint. He's just not stressing about it at the moment. A comeback is just an option that he keeps in his mind.
While the four-time All-Pro tight end is seemingly shutting down a return to the Patriots in time for a playoff run, he does technically still have time to change his mind. A final decision must be made prior to the final business day of week 13, which gives Gronkowski roughly 10 days to either prepare for a comeback or shut it down for the season.
Gronkowski did admit to ESPN that he has been keeping track of the Patriots throughout this 9-1 season, and he has noticed the lack of consistency on offense. Tom Brady expressed frustration following Sunday's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles based upon the lack of plays from his unit. His former teammate understands this frustration and sees a way in which this offense could be dramatically improved.
"The defense is just tremendous, the way they're coming together with the veteran leadership they have there, and the skill set they have," Gronkowski said. "With the offense, they're finding ways to make it work like they've always done, putting guys in the right situation to make plays. But man, they're missing some guy who is 6-6, 260 [pounds]. They're missing that guy, for sure."
While Gronkowski has certainly appeared to have shut down the potential return in 2019, he did say back in July that he could possibly be convinced by Brady to make a return. With the recent struggles, would the 42-year-old signal-caller reach out to his former teammate and plead with him to provide a much-needed boost to the offense?
That answer is unclear, so for now, Gronkowski will simply focus on preparing for his Super Bowl party. A return to the field isn't completely out of the question, but it does appear dormant at the moment.
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