Rob Gronkowski made the rounds on Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVII Thursday. While on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show, the Patriots tight end gave an update on his twice-surgically repaired forearm.
The arms doing all right; just casted it up, he said. Got a lot of time to heal now. So, theres no hurry, no rush. Just taking it week by week and day by day, and just getting it stronger every day. So, Im improving every week. Its the offseason now, so, no time to rush it. Get it 100-percent before camp starts.
Gronkowski's season ended after he re-fractured his left arm in New England's 41-28 Divisional Playoff win over Houston. The injury occurred when he landed hard trying to catch a pass during the Patriots' second series of the game.
Right when I landed obviously I was in huge pain, he recalled. I knew there was something wrong right when I hit. I just wasnt sure what it was because sometimes you get a stinger, sometimes you get a charley horse and they go away after two minutes they just hurt real bad, real quick for like two minutes. So, I was just hoping it was that, like a quick stinger, hitting your joint in your elbow or something where it just numbs your arm real quick. I was just hoping it was one of those. But the pain wasnt going away, obviously, and obviously it broke.
It wasnt the way I wanted to go out. Definitely it wasnt. It is what it was. Thats what happened.
The arm originally broke November 18 in New England's game against Indianapolis. Gronkowski missed the team's next five games before returning to action in the season finale.
The Patriots beat Miami that December day, but the tight end had just two catches in his comeback. It appeared, just by the way he was blocking, that Gronkowski wasn't playing at full capacity. He admitted as much on Thursday.
I really wasnt that confident obviously going in, because obviously I was using one hand, as you can see, he said. I was just getting used to it and all, just getting used to the flow of the game again, its good to get the speed down and all that, and just getting me prepared going into the playoffs, playing in that Miami game.
If the doctors didnt clear me and they said it wasnt smart to play in the Miami game, then I wouldnt have. But the doctors cleared me and they said I was good to go. Obviously I want to be out there whenever I can get out there. So, right when they said I was cleared, I was definitely ready to go.
The Houston game came two weeks later.
Despite the second break, the subsequent setback, Gronkowski maintains he has zero regrets about taking the field for the postseason.
I couldnt really tell you if it was healed or not," he said. "It felt good. Just going into the playoff game I felt ready, I felt confident about it. Like I said, it was just a freak accident. It didnt go the way I planned. It broke in a different spot."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that stunts like Antonio Brown’s Sunday night video are the kind that get good players shipped out of town.
“He's a great player, respected largely in the locker room but incidents such as this don't help him in that regard,” said Tomlin told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette and others at a Tuesday press conference in Pittsburgh. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team. Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.”
Tomlin, who referred to the Patriots as “a--holes” after the Steelers beat Kansas City in a Divisional Playoff game, apologized for his profanity and the other off-color comments made in the 17-minute broadcast.
“Like to say the language on the video is regrettable, by me and by others,” Tomlin stated.” That's why we go to great lengths to preserve certain moments and interactions between us. As a parent, as a member of the community I take that very seriously. I issue an apology in that regard.”
Tomlin added that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect on the game, on the Patriots, on the Steelers. Game is too big.”
Returning to Brown – who has yet to address why he thought this was a great idea – Tomlin said, “It was foolish of him to do that, selfish and inconsiderate. It was violation of our policy, league policy. He has to grow from this. He works extremely hard, he's extremely talented and those things get minimized with incidents like this."
After speculation and “Do it; you won’t” cries from Patriots fans as to whether Roger Goodell would show his face at Gillette Stadium for the AFC Championship, we’ve now got our answer: When the Patriots and Steelers kick off Sunday in Foxboro, the commissioner will be 1,045 miles away.
Goodell will reportedly attend the NFC Championship Sunday in Atlanta, continuing his absence from Patriots home games since the start of Deflategate. For those inclined to call it merely a coincidence, Goodell was in Atlanta last week for the Falcons and Seahawks. This will be two straight weeks of Atlanta -- with a trip to Kansas City for Chiefs-Steelers mixed in -- and still no New England.
Tom Brady, whom Goodell suspended for four games over the ball-deflating scandal, was asked on WEEI Monday about the possibility of Goodell attending a game in New England.
“He’s the commissioner, so obviously whatever he wants to do, he can do,” Brady said on Kirk and Callahan. “If he wants to come, that would be -- yeah, he can come.”
Asked if he wanted Goodell at the game, Brady replied, “He can go wherever he wants to go. Whoever is at the game is at the game.”
Equally popular as the will-Goodell-ever-go-back-to-Gillette discussion has been that of how Patriots fans would react. Last week, something of a light feud between Michael Felger and Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy took place over what kind of behavior towards the commissioner is acceptable.
That all remains a moot point, however, as Goodell won’t need to worry about being berated, spit on or anything else. Any of that will continue to be put off for as long as he stays away from Gillette.