Rob Gronkowski did not look like his normal, dominant self for most of the 2018 season and now we might know why.
The New England Patriots tight end was a common sight on the team’s injury report throughout the season, being listed with ankle and back ailments for the majority of the campaign.
Gronkowski has looked like a different beast during the Patriots’ two playoff wins, and that’s because he’s finally 100 percent healthy, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, citing sources.
The 29-year-old tight end battled Achilles tendonitis beginning in Week 5, which took away his explosiveness and suffered a bulging disc in his back in Week 7 which “took over a month for him to show signs of recovery” from, per Rapoport.
Gronkowski has appeared more upbeat during the Super Bowl lead up, joking with reporters about his retirement while having that big Gronk smile that was missing for most of the season plastered across his face.
Finally healthy, the surefire Hall of Famer was unleashed during New England’s AFC Championship Game win over the Kansas City Chiefs and appears poised for one last Gronk game, if Sunday is indeed his swan song.
The Patriots tight end faced a ton of criticism for his lackluster play this season, but it appears the “over the hill” talk might not have been warranted. As the Chiefs learned, a healthy Gronkowski still presents major problems for opposing defenses.
Good luck, Wade Phillips.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images