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Rob Gronkowski declines committing to a return to the Patriots in 2018

Gronkowski didn’t say he was retiring, but he wouldn’t say he’d be back either.

Rob Gronkowski has had an injury-filled but successful career. After the Super Bowl, he spoke with reporters and wouldn’t commit to playing in 2018.

While Gronk said that he didn’t know how the reporter had heard he might not play, he also wouldn’t say for certain he would be back:

“I don’t know how you heard that, but I mean I’m definitely going to look at my future for sure,” he said “I’m going to sit down the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.” Gronkowski had nine receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the game on 15 targets.

Leading up to the Super Bowl, Gronkowski spent nearly two weeks in concussion protocol. He suffered the concussion against the Jaguars in the second quarter of the AFC Championship game. Gronkowski was cleared on Thursday and played in his first Super Bowl since 2015 on Sunday.

Gronkowski has had many injuries over the years:

  • 2011: Gronkowski sprains his ankle in the AFC Championship against the Ravens; played injured in Super Bowl XLVI
  • 2012: Broke his forearm against the Colts; missed five games
  • 2013: Broke his forearm in January, missing the Patriots’ playoff game against the Ravens, which was a loss
  • 2013: Suffered a fractured vertebra, missing the preseason and six regular season games
  • 2015: Missed one game due to a knee strain
  • 2016: Missed first two games with a hamstring issue
  • 2016: Missed a November game with a chest injury
  • 2017: Missed one game due to a thigh injury
  • 2017: Suffered a concussion against the Jaguars in the AFC Championship

We’ll see where Gronkowski finds himself in a couple of weeks, but it probably shouldn’t be thought of as a given that he would return. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday that evaluating your future at the end of the year is a normal part of being an NFL player, though.

“At the end of every season, every person goes through somewhat of a process at the end of the season and then the following season,” Belichick said on a conference call Monday, via “I think everyone that is involved in a NFL season, you get pretty drained especially after a season like this. [You] go through the end of the year process. The following year is the following year.

“It’s the same for everybody. I certainly can’t speak for anybody else. You’d have to ask any individual for every situation, but I would say five minutes after the game, or the day after the game is not really the time to make those decisions.”

You also have to take into account the fact that Gronkowski just lost a very close Super Bowl.