Reformed footballer Rob Gronkowski showed up at an event in New York City today to push some CBD product. Since the NFL world has been engrossed by the abrupt retirement of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Gronkowski brought up an injury he had suffered in this past season’s Super Bowl to illustrate a point about what football can do to a body.
In the second quarter of Super Bowl 53, the Patriots tight end caught a pass and was met a couple of yards later by Rams defenders Mark Barron and Cory Littleton. Barron’s shoulder caught Gronkowski in the quadriceps muscle. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the tackle, and since it didn’t involve a helmet hitting another helmet, there was nothing to flag there. Gronk’s always been a tough receiver to take down, and the most effective strategy for defenders has been to hit him low and hope he can’t use his strength to plow through them.
“I flipped in the air, and I knew my quad was done,” the 30-year-old said. “I knew it was right there and then, I was like, ‘Last game, Super Bowl game. Just give it all you have.’”
After the game was over, Gronkowski said he could barely walk.
“I slept for five minutes that night. I couldn’t even think. I was in tears, in my bed, after a Super Bowl victory. It didn’t make that much sense to me.”
The injury lasted for far longer than that. Gronk said for the next four weeks, he couldn’t sleep for “more than 20 minutes a night.” He said had to have a total of a liter of blood drained from his thigh.
Over his college and pro career, Gronk had suffered plenty of injuries to his knees, brain, back, and ankle. Despite his medical history and that quad hit, today the former Patriots TE says he’s still willing to consider a return to football—just not right now. Enjoy your life, man. Stay away!