Rob Gronkowski‘s career with the New England Patriots has been great and terrible at the same time. When healthy, he has shown the ability to truly be a difference-making tight end. In fact, he is on pace to be one of the best of all-time when it comes to the position. In his first two regular seasons, Gronkowski had found the end zone a total of 27 times, including 17 times in 2011 setting the single-season record for a tight end. Ever since the 2011-12 postseason, however, Gronkowski has been hit with a barrage of injuries.
Obviously Gronkowski is going to need surgery to repair his torn ACL and MCL. If you count the back surgery that he had in his junior year of college, this knee surgery will make seven surgeries in the past five years. To break it down, that’s two back surgeries, four arm surgeries and one impending knee surgery. He may be a freak of nature, but one man can only take so much. There is no doubt that Gronkowski will be affected by his latest injury.
Most players are not the same in the season following a torn ACL. Pass catchers are no exception as they must constantly use their legs for speed and explosiveness. Plus there is a chance for the player to re-injure his ACL. A recovery period is said to typically lie in between eight and 12 months which means that Gronkowski could conceivably return for the 2014 regular season opener. However, if he takes the full recovery time, Gronkowski would not be playing until early December of 2014.
Given the amount of injuries that he has sustained, especially over the last two seasons, it might be in Gronkowski’s best interest to miss the entirety of next season. That way he could fully recover from his knee injury and give his body the extra time to heal from the amount of pain that he has put it through. This move would probably make Gronkowski unpopular amongst Patriots fans, but he has to look out for his best interests. He obviously wants to have a long career, and sitting out the 2014 season would be the best way for him to do so.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.