Rob Gronkowski only played eight games during the 2016 NFL season, but that didn’t stop the NFL Network from placing the New England Patriots tight end on its “Top 100” players list in 2017.
NFL Network released 10 more players on the list Monday, and Gronk came in at No. 23.
Even though the Patriots adjusted to Gronkowski’s absence en route to their historic Super Bowl LI victory, the tight end’s fellow peers recognized his importance to his team and voted him as one of the best players in the league.
The Patriots star checked in right below Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (No. 22) and just above Seattle Seahawks signal-caller Russell Wilson (No. 24).
Gronkowski, of course, wasn’t the only injured player to make the list. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was ranked 35th on the list despite playing only three games during the 2016 campaign, but Watt didn’t believe he deserved the honor.
Back surgery caused Gronkowski to miss the final eight games of the regular season and all of the playoffs, but he is expected to be 100 percent by the time the Patriots face the Kansas City Chiefs to open the 2017 season.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images