Rob Gronkowski offered a roadmap to a hypothetical comeback, but said for now ‘it’s a no’

"I’m enjoying myself right now. I don’t have that itch."

Rob Gronkowski prior to Super Bowl LIII.
Rob Gronkowski prior to Super Bowl LIII. –matt rourke/AP file

The speculation over Rob Gronkowski’s possible comeback began the moment the former Patriots tight end announced his retirement from football in March.

On Tuesday, Gronkowski appeared to end discussion over a potential return to the field in 2019.

During an interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Gronkowski was asked several times about a comeback. Finally, he gave an expansive response.

“I’ll give an answer,” said Gronkowski. “Obviously when I retired, I retired for a reason, because I needed to step away. So it would be a no. It would be a no. There it is. But I never say no because I said no and everyone was like ‘Yeah, he’s kidding.’ It’s a no. In my mind that’s how it is.”


The 30-year-old — who is now a Fox Sports analyst — said that he would have to get “the itch” to return. Beyond that feeling, it would need to be a sustained desire to make a comeback.

“It would need to be 10 days or a couple weeks of me just feeling it, like I need to go play football again,” Gronkowski explained. “I don’t know how I would describe it. That’s what I’m trying to say. I’m enjoying myself right now. I don’t have that itch. If I had that itch I would go back. I would have to have that itch and it would have to be a continuous itch. It’s not like I see Tom [Brady] throw a nice touchdown pass and, like ‘Man if that’s me and for like the five second itch. It has to be a continuous itch, like every day, every week. It has to be a long, continuous itch.”

Gronkowski also offered a timetable for how long it would take him to return to being football ready.

“The mind has to be into it,” said Gronkowski. “If I really had that itch and really wanted to focus on it then I could probably do it in a week if I wanted to. It’s like riding a bike.”

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