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A new video of retired New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski practicing his footwork on the field has sparked speculation that he could be planning a return to the game. After Gronkowski shared the training video on his Instagram Story this week, fans began to wonder if his former teammate Tom Brady had reached out to lure him out of retirement.
Gronkowski officially retired from the NFL in March, and revealed in August that he is now living pain-free for the first time in 10 years, following a career which came with highs and crushing lows. “I was in tears in my bed after a Super Bowl victory,” he said. “Football was bringing me down.”
In addition to announcing a partnership with a CBD pain management company, he has also lost a significant amount of weight since retiring (which isn’t an unusual occurrence among professional athletes), although from the looks of the video above, he’s still keeping up his training.
A comeback might not be the best idea, though, no matter how appealing the prospect might be to the former tight end. Gronkowski revealed to CBS News in September that he “probably had, like, 20 concussions” over the course of his career, including “five blackout ones.”
Given the medically proven links between repeated blows to the head and the untreatable neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), returning to the game would be a highly risky move. Gronk might be of the personal belief that “any injury is fixable,” but science disagrees.