Gronk’s Early Retirement


Photo taken by Logan Mullen

Rob Gronkowski taken away after thigh injury in 2017.

Tyler Borglin, Staff Writer

The NFL is the biggest football association in the world, and the players are retiring left and right, but why?

Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots, has just announced his retirement after nine seasons with the 2018-2019 Super Bowl Champions. Rob Gronkowski (otherwise known as “Gronk”) has joined other possible hall of famers in retirement in 2019. Carson Palmer, Jason Witten, Matt Forte, James Harrison, and many more have made the same decision. These notable NFL players have all been in the league for an average of 14 seasons. These veterans of the NFL may have been in the league for a long time, but the newer, younger age of players are not lasting quite as long.   

The youngest potential hall of famers have retired early, and there is a clear reason why. Along with the New England Patriots, the fans of Gronk know why he ended his successful career early. The new and recurring issue of injuries in the NFL have caused players to move away from the league.  

Gronk is not the only player to retire after a short period of time. Chris Borland, Wisconsin graduate and linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, made the same decision. Borland, who took over for the final eight games of the 2014 season, tallied up over 100 tackles in that season. Borland was in the Pro-Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie team. In early 2015, Borland retired from football, doing so because of concerns over head trauma. He has become a vocal critic of the NFL and football itself, earning both criticism and kudos from other players and analysts over his claims that football is a dangerous game.

Photo taken by Mike Jones
Chris Borland playing for the 49ers in 2014.

Rob Gronkowski’s injury history includes:

2012- Forearm fracture and ankle sprain (missed 5 games)

2013- Forearm fracture, back vertebral fracture, grade 1 concussion, and torn ACL/MCL (Gronkowski suffered a concussion, a torn ACL and a torn MCL on the same play and missed nearly the entire season along with half of the 2014 season)

2015- Grade 1 knee strain (missed 1 game)

2016- Pulled hamstring, chest lung bruise, and back vertebral disk hernia (missed final 5 games and entire postseason)

2017- Leg thigh bruise (missed 1 game)

2018- Concussion, and back/ankle (missed 3 games)

Gronk has not had the easiest path but still finished nine seasons through the treacherous injuries. Along with many others, Gronk has made the decision to back out of the NFL before any more severe injuries harm his life.