Cris Carter doesn’t see Rob Gronkowski coming out of retirement, and he believes the proof is in the pudding.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported earlier this week that there’s a 40 percent chance Gronkowski returns to the football field at some point in the 2019 NFL season. Florio’s report was somewhat countered by another which indicated the 30-year-old has completely stopped lifting weights and has shifted to band work in the gym.

Gronkowski has looked noticeably trimmer at recent public appearances, which seems to suggest he’s not building toward a football comeback any time soon. If you’re still holding on to hope that you haven’t seen the last of Gronk’s playing days, Cris Carter doesn’t think you should hold your breath.

“You don’t just wake up out of bed, do some band work and that’s gonna keep you healthy in the NFL,” Carter said Wednesday on FS1’s “First Things First.” “He can’t make it through NFL practices. Last year he tried the TB12 method, ended up getting hurt. Gronk has gotten hurt when he’s been in the best physical shape. How he does his job is physical. New England right now, they’re about being a physical team. Him, (James) Develin, Sony Michel — running the football with that offensive line. Their offensive line is their best group besides their secondary which I believe is the best in the league. Gronk can’t play that style of football. So that 40 percent report and everything, that’s a bunch of B.S.”

Gronkowski definitely isn’t in football shape now, but that doesn’t mean the book should be closed on a potential comeback. The five-time Pro Bowl selection very well could be gearing up for November-December, as a potential return likely would come midseason at the absolute earliest, if at all.

We probably shouldn’t expect Gronkowski chatter to die down any time soon, especially given the Patriots’ mediocre tight end depth chart. And if New England struggles to get anything out of the position group as the season unfolds, maybe Tom Brady will make a plea to one of the most dominant pass-catchers of this generation.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images