He already successfully completed one somewhat unexpected comeback. A second is in doubt.
A year after contemplating retirement, Rob Gronkowski is again expected to seriously debate hanging up his big cleats, NFL Network reported Sunday, citing people close to the Patriots tight end.
The 29-year-old made it through this season, a humdrum 11-5 one that will continue Sunday with a divisional-round matchup with the Chargers, but often looked like a shell of the jovial monster he once was. He battled injuries all year, missing three games and catching just 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns. Apart from mostly injury-lost years in 2016 and 2013, this has been the worst statistical season of his since his 2010, rookie season.
The Patriots, perhaps sensing the end was near, tried to trade him last offseason, a deal he nixed with threats to retire. He has pledged to only catch passes from Tom Brady for the rest of his career — which, for the best tight end of all time, could be over in a matter of hours.