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TAMPA, Fla. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight-end Rob Gronkowski said on Wednesday that even though he will need time to weigh a return for next season if he were to make a decision right now, he would not return to play in the NFL in 2022
“If they say, ‘Rob, you have to decide right now, right in this second, if you play next year,’ I would say no right now. It’s two days after the season. I would be like, ‘No, I’m playing not ‘, “said an animated Gronkowski to TMZ Sports. “You have to give it some time, you have to rest to see how everything goes, to see how everything goes, how I feel. I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are. from there. “
Gronkowski, who played on a couple of one-year deals over the last two seasons, said Monday, during his last Bucs availability for the season, that he would spend about three to five weeks decompressing and assessing how he is doing before make a decision. He repeated this in the interview, which throughout had a playful tone as he was in good spirits.
“If I had to answer right now, it would be no,” Gronkowski said. “But you never know. In three weeks it might be yes!”
When asked if he would have answered the same way in previous years the day after his season ended, Gronkowski laughed and said, “Yes, probably.”
In terms of health, Gronkowski said Monday that he has no major injuries but “minor bumps and bruises.” He missed five games in the regular season due to cracked ribs and a punctured lung. He also said Monday he would not rule out a return, although quarterback Tom Brady does not. But he has never played with another quarterback in his 11-year career, and it is natural to assume that Gronkowski will wait to see what Brady does.
“It will take into account the situation,” Gronkowski said. “He has to do what he has to do for himself and his family, no doubt about it. But for myself, then I have to do what I have to do, you know what’s best for myself, see where I am, how I feel – all that kind of thing. So once I’ve made the personal decision, we’ll see what his decision is, what’s going on, and then you’re taking it from there. can “I have not really read it or anything before it happens, but any situation could basically be on the plate, for sure. But first I have to do what’s best for myself, and then once I’ve made that decision, I can go from there. “
Asked whether broadband receiver Antonio Brown’s release after Week 17 had anything to do with the Bucs’ early exit from the postseason – they fell to the Rams 30-27 after a goal in the last second by Matt Gay in Sunday’s division round – Gronkowski said no.
“I would say in the locker room, it did not. There are so many experienced professionals in our locker room. It’s not like a young locker room or anything like that where it’s just young guys and has never been in an unfavorable situation before, so we have a lot – we have Tom, he has seen many situations in sports before, we have many experienced coaches who have been in many things before, “he told TMZ.
The Bucs had reached a point in Week 17 where, in addition to being without Brown and wide receiver Chris Godwin, who had gone to the injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in Week 15, they were missing Cyril Grayson (hoarding), Breshad Perriman (hip, abdomen) and Jaelon Darden (concussion). Tyler Johnson only played a snap in the fourth quarter of that match due to a rib injury. Tight-end Cameron Brate had to line up at the castle because the Bucs had no more healthy receivers.
“When something like this happens, it’s a big story, but you just have to focus on what you have to focus on, and that’s what a lot of guys did in the locker room,” Gronkowski said. “Many professionals in the locker room just stayed focused on what to do, and that’s basically what I did too. The outside noise – it can affect you if you let it get to you. But if you just block it out – that’s one thing I learned in the New England big time during the nine years I was there – blocks out the noise from outside, and I agreed. “