Was Rob Gronkowski's retirement inevitable? A look at his injuries
- Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from NFL
- He played as a tight end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Gronk previously retired in 2019 since
Rob Gronkowski, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end, has announced his retirement from NFL once again, after initially stating he was turning his back in 2019. The 33-year-old had then said that his injuries had left him in a bad mental space.
Indeed, an argument can be made that Gronk is one of the finest tight ends in the history of the game, as his stats show. However, the former New York-born Patriots player has had a career addled with injuries and pain.
Here's a look at Gronkowski's history of injuries.
Gronk's injuries date back to Arizona
His troubles date back to his junior year in Arizona, in 2009. The 2010 second-round draft pick missed all of the 2009 season after he had to get surgery for a bulging disk in his back.
However, he didn't miss a single game of his first two NFL campaigns and played through the Super Bowl 46, which was Gronk's final game of his sophomore year, while nursing an ankle problem.
With arms nearly broken
Gronk's luck ran out in 2012 when he fell and fractured his forearm, missing five games. Postseason, the injury was further aggravated, and he missed the first seven games of 2013 while recovering from forearm and back surgery.
In December, Gronkowski tore his right ACL and MCL against the Cleveland Browns game, in December. The tight end only returned during the start of the 2014 season.
The buildup to the 2019 retirement
As per DraftSharks, Gronk also battled a gamut of injuries including trouble with his hamstring in 2015, a lung bruise in 2016, and a concussion in 2018, apart from the recurring back problems. He won Super Bowl 53 in 2018, with the Patriots, and chose to retire in 2019, spending a year at Fox Sports to avoid any further injuries.
The time at Tampa Bay
He decided to return to the game and joined the Buccaneers in 2020, but in November 2021, in a game against the LA Rams, the tight end suffered a rib injury.
Speaking to reports, Gronk likened the injury to being shot and had previously told Fox News that he suffered four cracked ribs, one broken rib and a punctured lung. The pro missed four weeks, including a potential Patriots reunion game.
While Gronk's return was satisfactory enough, he has now decided to step away, and get back to "chilling".