Rob Gronkowski says the Pro Bowl ‘might need to be changed’

Surprise, surprise

Rob Gronkowski speaks in a post game press conference after being defeated by the Denver Broncos.
Rob Gronkowski speaks in a post game press conference after being defeated by the Denver Broncos. –Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski skipped the NFL’s Pro Bowl, along with six teammates. After playing 17 football games in 20 weeks, he didn’t think it made much sense to limp on to a plane to Honolulu just to play in an all-star exhibition.

“It’s just the way it worked out. I didn’t talk to anyone about it,’’ Gronkowski said Wednesday of the multiple Patriots’ absences. “I mean, that game might need to be changed. You can’t go the whole season, AFC Championship Game, giving it all you’ve got and thinking you’re going to hop on a flight to fly 12 hours to Hawaii that next Tuesday, when I still can’t even walk because I took like 20 hits that game. I was not hopping on that plane and just be more tight, more sore when I got off, and just be miserable the whole ride. If it was changed … I totally understand if you don’t go to the playoffs, you got a few weeks off, the Pro Bowl is awesome. But it’s hard to go from that game, giving it all you got in the playoffs, to go right to the Pro Bowl. You got to have your body rest, man.’’

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Gronkowski dealt with a knee injury during the 2015 season, but appeared relatively healthy in the Patriots’ 20-18 loss to the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game. After the defeat, he withdrew from the Pro Bowl. The tight end is a four-time Pro Bowl selection, but has never made a reception in the event. Perhaps, he never will.

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