Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is an affable, down-to-earth 22-year-old who just happens to be living the dream while playing a major role in Tom Brady‘s offense. He’s open and honest, which is admirable, but it may have worked to his detriment on Monday night.
Gronkowski was a guest on ESPN’s set following New England’s 34-3 thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski was a major factor in that outcome, as he caught two touchdowns, the second of which came when he flipped head over heels and landed on his neck. Gronkowski appeared to be a bit out of sorts, but managed to stumble a bit before launching his trademark spike.
“I remember the moment and everything,” Gronkowski said, according to LBS. “If I didn’t, I still wouldn’t even say I didn’t. I’m trying to play this week [laughs].”
Considering all that is known about concussions these days, that’s more than a little scary.
Gronkowski’s head has been a bit of a target this year, as Pittsburgh’s Ryan Clark was fined for going helmet-to-helmet on Gronkowski a few weeks ago, and he drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on Eric Weddle in Buffalo for another helmet-to-helmet hit.
Of course, on Monday night, it’s more likely Gronkowski injured his neck than he did his brain, but the comment — joking or not — is an indication that NFL players will continue to put their health at risk in order to stay on the field. It’s nothing new, as Kris Jenkins detailed extensively in The New York Times, and it’s an admirable trait, but it’s even more frightening.
You can check out video from the Boston Herald of Gronkowski joking with reporters below.