Diane Gronkowski told the Boston Herald that her son is “dying to play” and that anyone who doubts him doesn’t “really know the whole story.”
She felt compelled to speak out in defense of Rob after a string of recent reports indicating that his teammates were starting to resent the fact he has been practicing for weeks but not playing in games.
“All I can say is Robbie is dying to play. He wants to get out there,” Diane said. “He’s doing what he has to do to get back playing. He doesn’t like it. He wants to play. It really bothers him that he’s not playing.”
Diane indicated Rob was hoping to play as early as Week 2 but concerns about getting re-injured have prevented him from getting back on the field.
“The same people who criticize him for not coming back are the same people who say he came back too soon last time,” she said. “It is what it is. Rob is the only one who can make this decision. Anybody else who has a comment to make positively or negatively aren’t Rob. They aren’t in his shoes. They didn’t go through the surgeries that he went through.”
“When they go through four arm surgeries, a back surgery, and a foot surgery in a year and a half, then they can make the comments. After the third (forearm) surgery, Robbie said, ‘I’m never doing this again.’ And weeks later, he’s back in for the fourth one. So he doesn’t want to go back where he was and start all over again. It wasn’t fun. It was so discouraging.”
Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft came out in support of Gronkowski during a recent radio interview.
“I have to believe that Rob’s going to know when he wants to play. . . . No one here questions Rob’s desire about his passion or want to play the game of football.”
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