Rob Gronkowski is a name that will not be forgotten any time soon in the National Football League. The star entered the NFL in 2010 as a second-round pick. One year later, he led the NFL with 17 touchdowns and hit the 1,000-yard mark in just four seasons.
He has been consistently ranked as one of the best receivers when he was physically fit. His career was awesome as he had 521 receptions for 7,861 yards. He has also had 79 touchdowns. Rob has the fourth-most touchdowns for a tight end. He played 115 games before he decided to ‘retire’ and ranked number 12 in the 2018 season.
The star played for the New England Patriots for nine seasons before he was forced to ‘retire’ by back surgery in 2018. However, many people believed that the 29-year-old was too young to retire from professional football. Research shows that the average retirement age for most NFL players is 35 years. Thus, Rob still has some years before his fans ‘allow’ him to retire for good. But the big question is, why retire so early?
Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement in March 2019
There were many speculations after the star opened up about his intention to retire in March 2019. Many people believed that he needed to put his health first. The star was hosted on HBO’s “The Shop,” where he discussed his decision to leave the football world.
He was quoted saying that he got signals to leave the scene two years earlier. He was getting smoked by every rookie during his practices, which made him reconsider his career. He went on ahead to highlight that he had to look far beyond football. In his words, he said that he had a feeling that he had to get away from the game and focus on his health first.
His injuries and health challenges
Accumulated injuries and years of suffering are the sacrifices behind the big football name that rob has created over the years. Talking to a CBS respondent in a past interview, Robs says that he can only allow his son to play football after educating him on this game’s dangers.
He went to say that he learned a lot after being in the game for a decade. He believes that every injury that one gets is fixable. He explained that he went through nine surgeries, five blackouts that he can remember, and more than 20 concussions and still emerged victorious.
The three-time Super Bowl champion created a name for himself as one of the dominant tight ends in NFL history. He appeared on the All-Pro first team on four different occasions. However, injuries sustained on his knee, arm, and ankle forced out of his final season with the New England Patriots.
His last career game with Patriots
The Super Bowl LIII was his final career game with the Patriots. His team emerged victorious over the Los Angeles Rams (13-3). However, he couldn’t enjoy the victory as he was in pain. A hit on his quadriceps left him with the biggest bruise he has ever got in his football career. He could sleep for only 20 minutes for several weeks. He was also not able to walk properly for some time after this injury.
Rob’s mood was volatile during this season. There were moments he would feel okay as if he had overcome the suffering. However, this could later change and end up in deep pain. Sitting down without focusing on the pain was very hard for more than a month. He was forced to drain a liter of blood from his thigh due to internal bleeding. That was the time he decided that he had to retire, even though he was 29 years at the time.
Rob was forced to undergo the third spine injury after this encounter. His football career started becoming unclear. Fans and experts alike were not sure about to expect from this surgery, and he was 27 years old at that time. Be sure to check the article where Joshua Rovner talks about Gronkowski’s comeback chances and what to expect.
His ‘retirement’ days
During his ‘retirement’ the football star partnered with CBDMedic. The company creates pain treatments derived from CBD products. Talking in an interview, the emotional football star told his fans that he needed time to recover. He described that football was bringing him down emotionally, and he thus needed time off. The announcement left a possibility of un-retiring, which was actualized later. He became an advocate of CBD products to be used for pain relief during his ‘retirement’ days.
He stated that he had a reason to have joy in his life and passion for his life. He went on to say that he needed that joy before he could shine it on other people. Rob also noted that he knew other players were dealing with pain in the NFL, and walking away would help him heal.
Joining Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The fact that he ‘unretired’ is enough proof that he can back stronger. Rob ‘unretired’ on April 21, 2020, and joined Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Patriots still held their hopes that Rob would rejoin them after recovering from the surgery. Robert Kraft, the Patriots owner, was yet to receive retirement papers from Rob in October 2019. However, he failed to submit his paper for consideration on the Nov. 31, 2019 deadline/
Rob was traded by the Patriots, which still held his rights. The move reunited him with his former teammate Brady. His first game was on Sept. 13, 2020, where he played his first regular game in two seasons.
Rob was up to the challenge, and he caught five passes for 78 yards in the game against Green Bay Packers on October 18, 2020. It was also on this day that he made his first touchdown for the team. The Buccaneers won 38-10, and his touchdown was the first since the last one he had in December 2018 during the game against Miami Dolphins.