FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It is playoff time and tight-end Rob Gronkowski said there’s”no place for explanations” come Sunday once the New England Patriots sponsor the Los Angeles Chargers within an AFC divisional round match.
Gronkowski was banged up all year handling back and ankle injuries. His numbers signify that. He also tied a career-low with three touchdown receptions at 13 matches and ended with a pedestrian 47 catches for 682 yards. It was not as much as his usual, healthy, standards.
The bye week to its second-seeded Patriots (115 ) has been filmed. Gronkowski used it to relax, watch football, study and receive”refreshed” for one final run at a superbowl, all.
“It is the game of soccer, but there are no room for explanations,” Gronkowski said. “Everyone is addressing some thing. You just have to keep on moving forward, you have to get a means. That is what makes this game great. You have to be emotionally and physically prepared whatsoever times to keep on going.”
Is he there right now, feeling well?
“Yeah, going into the playoff game, only had a bye week, clinic is going well,” he explained. “I’m doing what the coaches are requesting me to complete. So, just planning for a match Sunday.”
Gronkowski, 29, faces a tricky matchup. Chargers rookie safety Derwin James has allowed tight ends to capture only 42 percent of their targets when he’s the nearest defender, the smallest catch percentage permitted to tight ends, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Gronkowski had just four receptions on the final few weeks of this summer season. He had been shut out by the Buffalo Bills, and has topped three grabs only once in his past eight matches.
It’s not something his Patriots teammates seem concerned about heading into the play offs. He’d not be at all surprised if the old Gronkowski re-emerged Sunday against the Chargers.
“never,” he explained. “We find him running everything in your clinic. The guy is that good of an individual player. As difficult as it is to allow it to be through 16 games it’s totally different once you are sitting preparing, you have just one match. You don’t know if there’s a next week. You’ve got one match, throw out everything there and determine exactly what you receive.
“I presume he’s that kind of competitor that we don’t be worried about that. No body in this locker room will be all worried about whether’Is he will be more ready to move?'”
There have been questions throughout this season about Gronkowski’s future, sparked by his comments after superbowl 52 which he would consider his football future. This season has nothing to lessen the speculation.
Similar to a week, Gronkowski deflected a question Thurdsay about retirement.
“My outlook… all focus on the Chargers,” he explained.
Maybe not his long run. At the very least not now with the play offs finally here.
“You have to put everything on the line, no matter what. Irrespective of what you have, anything you are addressing, you have to put everything on the line. In the event you eliminate the match, you are going home. Therefore, I would simply say, everybody leave out it there.”