Patriots news: Rob Gronkowski changes diet, feeling good during preseason games
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Patriots news: Rob Gronkowski changes diet, feeling good during preseason games

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski’s career so far could be defined by his pass-catching talent and inability to stay healthy.

Realizing that he’s not getting any younger, the 28-year-old New England tight end is changing his habits in hopes of keeping his body in shape for another brutal NFL season, and that includes altering his eating ways according to ESPN’s Mark Reiss.

This is just one part of the new outlook for Gronkowski, as he has made some other notable changes in returning from a third career back surgery. Specifically, he’s adopted parts of Tom Brady’s diet, while making a full-scale commitment to other physical-based work at Brady’s Sports Therapy Center (in addition to his regular load in the team’s strength program).

Copying Brady’s diet, of course, requires Gronkowski to avoid consuming alcoholic and caffeine-based beverages. That doesn’t sound like an easy task for a party-animal like Gronkowski, but that’s something he’d willingly give up if it meant being 100 percent healthy.

He was healthy enough to experience his first preseason game since 2012, as he took part in 14 snaps during the Pats’ 27-23 loss to the Houston Texans last Saturday.

“I’m glad I was out there,” he said. “It felt good just to get the game speed. You can never get enough reps. You can never get enough practice reps. So it felt great to go out there and get my feet wet and see what it’s all about again.

Gronkowski hasn’t played a complete season since 2011, missing at least a game in each of the succeeding five years. He missed the most time in 2016, when a back injury cost him half the season.

With Martellus Bennett gone, the success of the tight end position for the Patriots mostly rests on the shoulders of Gronkowski, who, when playing is close to unstoppable. The Arizona product had 540 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions on just 25 catches in eight games played last season.