Rob Gronkowski Spikes His Way Onto ‘Madden NFL 17’ Video Game Cover

Rob Gronkowski will be the cover athlete for this season’s version of EA Sports’ “Madden” video game franchise, the company announced Thursday on ESPN.

The New England Patriots tight end was the runner-up in last year’s cover vote, losing to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the final round

A leak earlier in the day via the Xbox store indicated Gronk would grace the cover, and the official announcement came on the 6 p.m. ET edition of “SportsCenter.”

Here’s a look at the cover.

This season marks the first time this decade there has not been a cover “vote.” ESPN partnered with EA in 2010 to do the vote but abandoned it this season for some reason.

The Patriots tight end is quite the polarizing figure, and his public appearances frequently reach a fever pitch during the offseason, typically referred to as “The Summer of Gronk.”

Gronkowski recorded 79 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. He has 65 touchdowns in 80 career regular-season games, and the Patriots have reached the AFC Championship Game in five of Gronk’s six seasons.

Patriots fans surely will be very concerned over the notorious “Madden Curse,” but they can take solace in hoping that karma finally might be on Gronk’s side after a career littered with injuries to his back, forearm, ankle and knees.

Click to see the worst afflictions of the “Madden Curse” >>

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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