Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is still retired, but he hinted on Monday that it might not be permanent.
Speaking at a press conference in New York City on Tuesday morning, Gronkowski left the door open for a potential return to football in the future. His appearance was to announce the next chapter of his career — a partnership with CBD-Medic, a company that uses CBD oils to help with pain relief.
Gronkowski, who announced his retirement in March, appealed to sports governing bodies to update their stance on the use of CBD oils for pain relief and recovery.
In a statement on the CBD-Medic website, Gronkowski further validated his argument by stating how CBD products have made him feel pain-free for the first time in a decade.
I wish I had been able to use CBDMEDIC while I was playing. It would have made a huge difference in my pain management during my career and I know it can help many others who are looking for safe, pill-free solutions to managing pain”.
Gronkowski brought up his current retirement status along with his potential return to football during the press conference. The tight end has a year left on his contract but did state his return would not be immediate or rapid.
With tears in his eyes, Gronk discussed how much football was taking a toll on his body. When he took a shot to the quad during Super Bowl LIII, he knew he would have to retire, admitting he was crying while in bed later that night from the pain.
While fans are longing to see number-87 back on the field soon, Gronk admitted his recovery was necessary to his overall well-being.
Clearly, the CBD method has been working for him. Gronk feels as good physically as he ever has, but would need to get over the mental hurdle before stepping back onto the football field.
Gronkowski suffered several injuries over the course of his NFL career. In 2012, he was marred by three separate ailments.
In the 2011 AFC Championship, he suffered a high-ankle sprain, later playing through it for Super Bowl XLVI before getting arthroscopic surgery. He also hurt his hip and suffered a broken arm which kept him out of action for five games.
The following year, he refractured his arm and back, keeping him off the field until Week 7. But his return was short-lived. On December 8, 2013, a nasty low hit by Cleveland defensive back T.J. Ward cost Gronk the remainder of the season by tearing his ACL, MCL, and giving the tight end a concussion as well.
The 2016 season brought on the return of injuries for Gronkowski, who missed the opening two games with a hamstring pull. Later in the season, a brutal blow from Seattle’s Earl Thomas caused a lung bruise which later developed into a herniated disc, costing him another season.
In his final year, Gronkowski was limited to just 13 games because of lingering back and ankle issues and was reserved to more of a blocking role. His final catch came in double coverage during the lone touchdown drive of Super Bowl LIII.