NFL

Is New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Coming Back in 2019?

Will Rob Gronkowski retire before the 2019 season?

Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in football, and, after another Super Bowl win, a three-time NFL champion. He’s also suffered multiple injuries throughout his career, which leads many to speculate on his future with the New England Patriots.

Rumors surrounding Gronkowski’s future have become commonplace during the last several NFL offseasons, and Gronk’s internal tug of war has likely never seen more conflict. He continues to suffer physically taxing injuries, but he’s also part of a team that has great odds of repeating as champions next season. This has led many fans and NFL experts alike to ask: will Rob Gronkowski come back in 2019?

What injuries has Rob Gronkowski suffered throughout his career?

While Gronkowski has shown himself to be a gifted pass catcher and blocker at tight end, he’s unfortunately also had to deal with multiple health issues throughout his career. Sports Illustrated developed a timeline of Gronk’s injuries going all the way back to his collegiate career at the University of Arizona. The list of injuries would be too much for multiple players to bear, much less one person. Back, hip, knees, concussions, and arm injuries litter his playing days.

These injuries have been a major part of the narrative surrounding Gronkowsk. A perfect example is the high ankle sprain suffered during the 2012 AFC championship game. Gronk played in the Super Bowl two weeks later, but he was limited in his ability to help the team. He even barely missed making a play on a Hail Mary pass from Tom Brady as the clock struck zero, giving the Giants the upset victory in Super Bowl XLVI.

That injury is a great metaphor for Gronkowski’s career: The ability to reach the true limits of his potential were just out of his reach due to factors beyond his control.

What were Rob Gronkowski’s numbers last year?

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Gronkowski’s stats took a hit in 2018, again due to injuries. Gronkowski missed three games due to back and ankle issues. In 13 games he finished with 47 catches and three touchdowns, tied for a career low. One troubling stat is Gronkowski’s yards-per-game total — 52.5, his lowest number since his rookie season. Gronkowski generally blamed himself for the decrease in production, but it’s hard to argue injuries didn’t play a significant role.

It may be going a step too far to suggest Gronkowski is a player in decline due to the fact that he was playing through significant injuries. But when factoring in his medical history, the question for both the Patriots and Gronkowski then becomes this: Will Gronk be able to stay healthy long enough to maximize his output?

What are Rob Gronkowski’s stats for his career?

Gronkowski’s career numbers do not lie. Simply put, he’s one of the best weapons to ever play the tight end position. He has 521 receptions over his career for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. While these numbers are great, they do not tell the whole story of why his skill set is so effective.

This 2016 piece from  Fox Sports called Gronkowski one of the best tight ends in NFL history. The piece argues that the major value in Gronkowski’s game — and what differentiates him from other tight ends — is his big play ability. He’s not a high volume receiver as much as he is a receiver with the ability to break off long gains. Gronkowski possesses the size of a tight end with the speed and athleticism of a much smaller receiver.

Will Rob Gronkowski Play in 2019?

While Rob Gronkowski has not made an official announcement, rumor has it Gronkowski says he wants another championship. In the meantime, Patriots fans can only wait and hope. The question on everyone’s mind is: Will Gronkowski return, and if he does, can he reclaim the high levels of production he’s shown in the past?