Rob Gronkowski Talks Drafting Him in Fantasy, CTE Concerns

By , WEEI 93.7

Retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been doing a lot of talking this week. As he makes his media and promotional tour for a CBD company, one thing for certain is that he’s clearly left the door wide open for a return to the NFL at some point in the future.

He added a little bit more fuel to that comeback fire at the end of an interview with NBC this week.

Asked if fans should consider drafting the tight end in keeper fantasy leagues, not necessarily for this year for but the future, Gronk responded quickly with a big trademark smile.

“Yes,” Gronkowski said. “Yeah, why not?

Though the NBC interview ended on humorous note, the bulk of it was more serious in nature. Gronkowski detailed his decision to retire due to the long term physical effects of having played football every year since the seventh grade.

“I was a little selfish this offseason, I needed to be, and take care of myself,” Gronkowski said. “Now, feeling better. Feeling great. I needed to get out there in the world.”

Gronkowski also explained his reaction to the stunning retirement of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck last week.

“It was like a surprise. Obviously Andrew Luck was in some pain. He even said it. He described what he was feeling. I can relate,” Gronkowski said. “During the Super Bowl in the second quarter I took a hit to my quad. Literally, by the end of the game, I really don’t even know how I played. My quad was gigantic. People just don’t really see that type of side of the NFL.

“For four weeks I was limping around. I couldn’t sleep for more than 30 minutes for four weeks. My leg was throbbing. People just don’t see that side.

“Dealing with stuff like that for so many years you have to sit back and reevaluate your life.”

When talking about the physical effects of football, obviously the topic of head injuries and CTE came up. Gronkowski, who had two diagnosed concussions in his Patriots career, acknowledged that he’s dealt with head issues and is working hard to counter the results of playing a contact sport for so long.

“I’m aware of that. That’s why I took the action and got away from the game. I would not lie. I was walking around, my mood swings were totally up and down. I was aware what was going on with my body and my mind,” Gronkowski told NBC. “That’s why I had to walk away. I’m doing exercises. I’m getting the right treatment. I’m looking for brain exercises. For example when I’m home at my house, I have a 750-piece puzzle. I get treatment on my head. No lie, I felt my head. I used to have liquid. It used to be thick. My head used to be thicker, a centimeter of liquid in some spots. You feel it. I’d be like, ‘what the heck.’ You could put indents in my head. But finally I get the right treatments doing the right things. And it keeps your brain active. And I truly believe I’m just starting where I’m at. If I already got to here and I was that damaged, what if I keep doing it? I could keep going higher and higher. And it’s getting addictive in the best way it possibly can. That’s why I truly believe what I went through I went through for a reason, to make myself stronger in the end.”

Considering how he’s feeling, is the door open to possibly coming back to the NFL?

“Down the road if I have that desire, if I know I have that consistency, that desire in my soul that I want to go back, then so be it,” Gronkowski said. “But as of right now I’m in a great place. Playing that long you just can’t take off four months, one offseason, and be like, ‘Oh, I’m healed.’ It’s a whole process. You have to let your body settle down, you have to let our body calm.”