Bucs Urged to Sign 5-Time Pro Bowler out of Retirement After Loss

Tom Brady

Getty The Buccaneers are being urged to sign Rob Gronkowski out of retirement.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are being urged to make a major move following their latest loss.

After the Buccaneers fell to the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers in a 20-18 loss, Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless took to Twitter to make a suggestion — the Buccaneers really need Rob Gronkowski. The Fox Sports analyst made the suggestion following Cameron Brate’s latest injury.

“Cameron Brate suffers another head injury, carted off,” said Bayless. “Very scary. Gronk: your best buddy Tommy really needs you now.”

Buccaneers Missing Gronkowski at Tight End

Brate has served as the Buccaneers’ starting tight end this season following Gronkowski’s retirement. However, he’s failed to fill the big void left over by the five-time Pro Bowler. The 31-year-old tight end has just 13 receptions for 114 yards for zero touchdowns in his five starts this season.

While the Buccaneers could certainly use the four-time Super Bowl champion’s presence, the 33-year-old Gronkowski doesn’t appear to be coming back anytime soon. Tom Brady’s longtime teammate made the announcement that he’s rejoining Fox Sports as an analyst. He previously served in the role during his short retirement during the 2019 season.

During his last season with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski actually had his best season in years. The veteran tight end caught 55 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns in just 12 games. Those numbers represented his best totals since the 2017 season when he posted 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns with the New England Patriots.

However, he announced his retirement in June for the second time.

“I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field,” Gronkowski wrote on social media.

Although Gronkowski indicated he would not be making a return, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has teased the idea of his client coming back to play for Tampa Bay towards the end of the season. Rosenhaus says that it’s his “gut feeling” that Gronkowski will return with the Buccaneers later on in the season.

Via the Associated Press’ Rob Maadi:

“I’m not predicting that and I’m not saying that’s coming from Rob, because it’s not,” Rosenhaus said in September. “Rob says he’s retired, but that’s just my opinion. I’ve represented him for more than a decade and that’s just my gut feeling.”

Brate Suffers Scary Injury Versus Steelers, Carted off Field

Meanwhile, Brate missed the Buccaneers’ last game due to being in the concussion protocol after being knocked out of the team’s loss versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. However, he was part of an even scarier sight as he was taken off of the field on a stretcher following a helmet-to-helmet hit during the third quarter of the team’s loss versus the Steelers.

As ESPN’s Jenna Laine noted, play was stopped for eight minutes as Brate was eventually put on the stretcher.

“The tight end was attended to first by the Buccaneers’ training staff, and then additional medical personnel hurried onto the field,” said Laine. “Play was stopped for eight minutes as benches cleared for both teams to gather around Brate.”

While Brate may be out for an extended period of time, it’s more likely that rookie Cade Otton — rather than Gronkowski — fills in as the team’s starting tight end moving forward.

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