ATLANTA -- Rob Gronkowski has taken some pretty big hits over his nine-year NFL career, so he is as good of a player as any to speak about how those hits can take such a big a toll on a players' body.
The Patriots tight end gave a thoughtful answer on the subject when speaking Wednesday.
"The season's a grind. It's up and down. I'm not going to lie and sit here and say every week is the best," Gronkowski said to reporters. "Not at all. You go up, you go down. You can take some serious hits. To tell you the truth, just try and imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life. It's tough, it's difficult. To take hits to the thigh, take hits to your head. Abusing your body isn't what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood. You've got to be able to deal with that, too, throughout the season. You gotta be able to deal with that in the games.
"And no one realizes that, and everyone expects us players to be wide awake every single day, and it's like, 'Yo, i just took 50 hits to my head' -- or not to my head, but I'm saying I just took 50 collisions, and then like the next day everyone wants you to be up. They want practice full speed, next week they want the game to be full speed, but they don't understand sometimes what players are going through with their bodies, with their minds. That's why I've been saying you see a shift in players in games where people are down the whole game, and then you see, all of a sudden, the next week it's like, 'How did this team just go from one switch to the other?'"
Based on those comments, it would not be a surprise at all to see Sunday be the tight end's final game, which has been reported for quite some time.
After contemplating retirement last offseason, many have said this will be his final season.