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Rob Gronkowski announces return with energy drink advertisement (Video)

Rob-Gronkowski-69-shirtNew England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could never just return to game action. If we have learned anything from watching the 24-year-old meathead over the last couple of years, it’s that his personality is larger than life. So of course he announced his return with an energy drink advertisement on YouTube.

On Friday morning, news surfaced that Gronk has officially been cleared by all of his doctors and will play on Sunday against the New York Jets. A few hours later, a dramatic video documenting Gronkowski’s return to action presented by BODYARMOR SuperDrink started making its way around the internet.

Our favorite part? Easily the shots of Gronk pumping iron in a shirt that says “BEASTTT” across the front and has the number — you guessed it — 69 on the back. The promotion was serious in nature, but that didn’t stop it from being incredibly Gronk. Assuming Gronk can get up to speed quickly when he takes the field again, he should be back to spiking action figures in no time.

H/T Deadspin

Rob Gronkowski reportedly cleared by all doctors, will play Sunday against Jets

Rob Gronkowski spikeStop us if you have heard this before — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to play against the New York Jets this Sunday. The same was said of Gronk’s status before last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints, and we know how that turned out. This time, however, the word has come directly from Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus.

“Rob has now been cleared by all his doctors to play Sunday in the Jets game,” Rosenhaus reportedly told Pro Football Talk on Friday morning.

Unless Rosenhaus is creating even more drama, this should end what has been an annoying roller coaster for the Patriots and their fans through the first six games of the season. Last week, a number of varying reports surfaced regarding Gronk’s health. There was speculation that some of Gronkowski’s teammates were growing frustrated with him for being able to go hard in practice and not suiting up on game day. His mother later said he is “dying to play” and is bothered by the fact that he had to sit out.

And then there was the report about money being a factor in Gronkowski’s decision to not return, which is always a great way to raise the blood pressure of a fan base. Assuming what Rosenhaus said is true, doctors must be confident Gronk’s surgically-repaired forearm and back have fully healed.

It would not be a surprise if Gronkowski’s snaps are limited against the Jets, though he should instantly help New England’s offense even if they are. The Patriots have struggled to come away with touchdowns in the red zone, and Gronk is one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets inside the 10-yard line. It would be tough to imagine Gronkowski not giving his team an immediate boost.

Money is reportedly a factor in Rob Gronkowski’s decision to sit out

Rob Gronkowski spikeAnother week has gone by and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has yet to make his 2013 debut. The team obviously expected him back by now, otherwise they would have put him on the physically unable to perform list and not wasted a roster spot on him through Week 6. According to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, the Patriots believe Gronk is ready to return and have left the decision “squarely” in his hands.

So what’s the holdup? Given Gronkowski’s extensive injury history, it is reasonable to assume that he is worried about his contract. Gronkowski recently signed a $55 million contract extension that runs through the 2019 season. However, Volin pointed out that the Patriots have flexibility that would allow them to avoid paying up to $41 million of that deal if they cut ties with Gronk before the 2015 season.

Gronkowski’s $3.75 million base salary and $250,000 workout bonus for 2014 are guaranteed. However, his $4.75 million base salary for 2015 only becomes fully guaranteed if Gronkowski is on the team after the fifth day of the league year, which is sometime in March of 2015. If he has not been effective because of injuries, New England can cut him and save $5.35 million in cap space for 2015.

A similar scenario would arise after the 2015 season, even if the Patriots keep Gronk’s $4.75 million on the books for that season. New England has until the last day of the 2015 league year, sometime in March of 2016, to decide whether to pay Gronkowski a $10 million option bonus and continue paying the remaining $27 million on his contract.

Of course, the Patriots are not looking for a way out of Gronkowski’s contract. They signed him to a massive extension because they expect the 24-year-old to be a focal point of their offense for years to come. However, Gronk is playing (or not playing) for the league minimum of $630,000 this season. If he feels sitting out longer will help protect him from further injury and secure his financial future — even if his mom insists he is dying to get back onto the field — Gronk may do just that.

Rob Gronkowski’s mom says son is ‘dying to play’

Rob Gronkowski spikeRob Gronkowski did not dress on Sunday and missed his sixth straight game of the season as he awaits medical clearance to return from multiple surgeries. Gronk has been practicing with his New England Patriots teammates, leading them to wonder why the tight end still hasn’t suited up in a game. It’s understandable from Gronk’s perspective why he wants to wait for his forearm to be fully healed this time before he goes out and plays, but make no mistake about it — not being able to play is killing him. At least that’s what his mother says.

“All I can say is Robbie is dying to play. He wants to get out there,” Diane Gronkowski told The Boston Herald. “He’s doing what he has to do to get back playing. He doesn’t like it. He wants to play. It really bothers him that he’s not playing.”

Rob apparently wanted to play back in Week 2, which is when the team cleared him to play. But it’s believed that Dr. James Andrews has been consulted on the matter and is responsible for giving Gronkowski clearance to play. Gronk still hasn’t been cleared by Andrews, which explains why he hasn’t played.

Regardless of how the team feels about the matter, I absolutely believe Gronk wants to be out there. And I think he is doing the right thing by waiting. The team didn’t take care of him after he broke his forearm last year and now they’re seeing the consequences. Imagine if he came back too quickly again and broke his forearm for the third time? How would the team feel then? It’s still early enough in the year where they can survive without him and wait until he’s ready. This is the kind of discipline the Redskins needed last year when Robert Griffin III continued to play on his peg leg.

Rob Gronkowski’s teammates reportedly frustrated with him for not playing

Rob Gronkowski forearmNew England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss his sixth game of the season when his team takes on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Earlier this week, it was assumed that Gronk was going to play against the Saints because he has been practicing for several weeks. Apparently there have still been some issues with Gronk’s surgically-repaired forearm.

Over the past week, there have been a number of reports that indicate the Patriots are frustrated with Gronkowski because it is his choice to remain out. Sources reportedly told ESPN’s Ed Werder on Sunday that some of Gronk’s teammates have begun wondering if he will play at all this year.

“There’s curiosity and resentment, and he’s creating it by going out and kicking ass during the week and then he doesn’t show up on game day and help the team win,” a source told Werder. “If he’s not playing in games, he damn sure should not be doing what he is in practice.”

Gronk has reportedly not been cleared by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who may have been called in as a third party because there is a difference of opinions between the star tight end and the team.

Werder also said a source told him there is “nothing wrong with the arm” and that anything that is holding Gronkowski out against the Saints is going to hold him out for a while. The Patriots opted not to put Gronk on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the season, so he has essentially wasted a roster spot. He would have been eligible to come off in Week 7, and it’s no guarantee that he’s going to play then, either.

On Friday, CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran told Pro Football Talk Live that Gronkowski’s decision to practice but not play has created frustration among his teammates. One of those teammates, Curran says, is “the one responsible for throwing the football to Gronkowski.” Yes, that would be Tom Brady.

The Patriots desperately need Gronkowski back, as evidenced by their embarrassing red zone performance against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. The more we hear about his availability, the more it sounds like Gronk’s teammates feel he could be playing if he wanted to.

Rob Gronkowski reportedly did not need first forearm surgery

Rob Gronkowski forearmRob Gronkowski may finally play this weekend after missing the New England Patriots’ first five games of the season. Gronkowski has been practicing with the team while recovering from back and multiple forearm surgeries, and his date of return has been disputed. There was speculation that he would return earlier in the season, but Gronk has remained out for the first five weeks. There were reports that he and the team are at odds, though he and the team denied that. Now WEEI has added something new to the conversation.

According to WEEI’s Mike Petraglia, Gronk’s forearm, which the tight end broke on a fluke play while providing protection on an extra point during a Nov. 18 game against the Indianapolis Colts last year, would have healed on its own had the team not done anything. However, the team wanted to speed up Gronk’s return to the field and performed surgery on the forearm in hopes that inserting an implementation would allow the Pro Bowl tight end to return for the playoffs. Gronk returned in Week 17 and caught a touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins, but he re-broke the forearm in the team’s first playoff game. Gronk then had surgery again to repair the break, and he had two additional surgeries after the forearm became infected.

Yes, Gronk had four surgeries in seven months to help fix a break that would have healed on its own without any surgery. That is just one of the many reasons Gronk, his family, and his representatives have concerns over the Patriots team doctors (the team doctor performed the first surgery).

Gronkowski sought out the advice of the respected Dr. James Andrews concerning his forearm. Both he and the team have entrusted the doctor with making the determination of when Gronk could return to play. That explains why reports said there was a rift between the sides; Gronk wants to make sure his forearm is completely ready for football this time, while the Pats want him back. Who can really blame Gronkowski for taking his time after all that’s happened?

Rob Gronkowski expected to play against New Orleans Saints

Rob Gronkowski spikeRob Gronkowski is reportedly expected to return for the New England Patriots against the New Orleans Saints this weekend. Pro Football Talk cited a league source on Tuesday morning who claims Gronkowski will be cleared this week and will suit up on Sunday.

Gronkowski had multiple surgeries on his broken forearm and another surgery on his back during the offseason. The Patriots opted to not place him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which would have ruled Gronk out for at least the first six weeks of the season. If for some reason he does not play against the Saints, the Patriots will have wasted a roster spot on him for their first six games.

New England has managed to put together a 4-1 record without Gronkowski this season, though he was sorely missed in a 13-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Patriots were unable to move the chains at crucial times and failed to score a touchdown on 1st-and-goal from the Bengals’ 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. Gronkowski should certainly help remedy some of Tom Brady’s red zone issues.

At this point, we’ll believe Gronk is playing when we see it. There have been conflicting reports about his status all season long. If there was ever a time when they Patriots need him to return, it is this week. The Saints have been torching defenses this season and New England will likely have to score to keep up.