Rob Gronkowski had a big game for the Patriots on Monday night, catching four passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-3 win over the Chiefs. The 6’6″ tight end dove for the end zone on his second touchdown and was flipped by Derrick Johnson. He landed on his head and neck, and his cranium ended up perpendicular to his torso (pictured above).
Gronk was clearly dazed after the touchdown, but he managed to do his trademark spike afterwards. The training staff examined him on the sidelines and he continued to play in the game. He even joined ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew for an interview after the victory.
The hosts asked Gronk how he was after the touchdown. Steve Young specifically pointed out that Gronkowski looked groggy after the touchdown, and asked if the tight end remembered the moment or if he went out for a second.
“I remember the moment and everything,” Gronk said. “If I didn’t I still wouldn’t even say I didn’t. I’m trying to play this week hahaha.”
We’re not surprised by the comment at all. We figure most players would choose to play and help their team rather than protect their personal safety if a concussion were in question. Even Peyton Manning has “joked” that he tanked his baseline concussion test. That’s exactly why people need to look out for Gronk.
Gronkowski is the fastest tight end in history to score 20 touchdowns (he did it in his first 26 games). He’s one of the best tight ends in the league. He needs to be protected and reminded that his safety and health is the top priority. That’s even coming from someone who drafted the man in both his fantasy leagues.
Lastly, the ESPN hosts who were laughing at Gronkowski’s comment should be ashamed. Steve Young, more than anyone, should understand the consequences of concussions, and he should reach out to players to encourage them to protect themselves when they’re seriously hurt.
You can see video of the play at NFL.comGoogle+