Rob Ninkovich Wouldn’t Be Shocked If Playoffs Are Rob Gronkowski’s Last Ride

by abournenesn

Jan 7, 2019

The Rob Gronkowski’s NFL career could be coming to an end sooner than New England Patriots fans had hoped.

After contemplating retirement last offseason, the Pro-Bowl tight end has looked like a shell of his former self this season. Gronkowski has been unable to separate from single coverage and was neutralized for entire games during New England’s up-and-down 11-5 regular season.

As the Patriots prepare to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in the divisional round, former Patriot Rob Ninkovich told WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe” he wouldn’t be shocked if Gronk no longer smashed after this season.

“Yeah, I mean, you look at what happened in the preseason here and, you know, he was potentially going to another team and that doesn’t bode well for moving forward,” Ninkovich said. “I don’t think that, necessarily, he’ll be a Patriot, but he says he’s not going to play for another team so I could see him walking away and doing something else.

“I think he’s dealing with something, he’s getting older, we’ve all talked about it. But you hope that there’s, OK three games, right? If you’re going to think about moving on and walking away and you got three games left in your career then you just empty it and say, ‘I’m going to play as hard as I possibly can. I’m going to leave it all out there and that’s it.'”

Gronkowski caught 47 balls for 682 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games this season, but with Josh Gordon no longer on the team, the Patriots will need Gronkowski to transform back into the wrecking ball he used to be if they plan to make it to a third straight Super Bowl.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
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