To say that the 2012 campaign was a disappointment for the Patriots and Rob Gronkowski would be an understatement. The stellar tight end’s last play of the season ended with a broken bone in his left forearm, his second of the season. While his team did go on to lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Ravens, Gronkowski has been in-and-out of surgeries to repair his injured forearm.
Gronk confirmed Wednesday that he underwent another surgery, his third, to clean up an infection in the surgically repaired arm.
“Feeling a lot better. My arm is feeling way better than it was during the playoffs and regular season when I broke it,” Gronkowski told ESPN Radio.
Media-darling Rob Gronkowski has received some skepticism about the way he has rehabs his injuries. If you recall two years ago, Gronkowski was seen dancing shirtless in a bar after sustaining an injury that kept him from being productive on the field in a loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. That was then the world was introduced to “Yo Soy Party,” translating in English to “I am Party.” After receiving harsh criticism from the media and his head coach, it appeared that Gronkowski had learned his lesson.
However, after twice breaking his arm this past season, Gronk has since been videotaped wrestling one of his buddies with his arm in a cast. The Patriots star tight end assured fans that he would never do something that would put his health in danger.
“They’re my fans,” Gronkowski said in a “Mike and Mike” radio interview. “They’re fans of the Patriots and just want to see them do well…they don’t want to see me hurt and that’s totally understandable.”
Though the Pats have Aaron Hernandez as a more than capable backup to the Gronk, he too has had a series of injuries that have forced him to miss time. Both of the dangerous receiving threats just cannot seem to stay on the field for a full season. Hernandez missed nearly half of the 2012 season with a re-occurring ankle injury while Gronkowski missed five games of his own, including a majority of the Patriots post-season loss to the Ravens.
Going forward, the highly controversial Gronkowski will have to tone down his off-field antics so as not to receive a negative reputation. He has made quite a name for himself scoring touchdowns, and it would be disappointing to see a player of his caliber do something foolish off the field to ruin that. “The Summer of Gronk” is not a bad thing, heck, players need to cut loose after a grueling football schedule. Instead of wrestling, Gronk should stick to posing for pictures with fans , at least there is no risk of re-injury.
With the loss of Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd this off-season, the Patriots will be relying on Gronk more than ever. Fans can ill-afford to see their superstar suffer another injury that could force him to miss time. In games Gronkowski has been hurt or missed time, the Patriots have lost a Super Bowl, an AFC Championship game, and have a 4-1 record in the regular season. While the regular season numbers are good, fans in New England are all about the rings, something they won’t see with their pass-catching tight end sidelined. If the Pats are to have any chance of winning in 2013, “Yo Soy Fiesta” might have to hang up his sombrero, at least for a little while.
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