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Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski says ‘more challenging’ to play through injuries

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

In the last couple of weeks, it has been difficult for the New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski to stay on the field due to nagging back issues that have forced him to miss two out of the last three games played.

This has also forced him to perform at a level below what has become expected of him throughout his career. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Gronkowski voiced on Friday that it has been difficult for him to watch himself play at the level he has so far this season.

“It’s been more challenging, just little obstacles in the way. It’s life. You have to take them on. That’s what I’m doing,” Gronkowski said Friday, as he remains limited in practice with back and ankle injuries. “Just got to get back to where I need to be and just be myself when I get back, and it will all be good.”

Unlike years past, Gronkowski has in many ways not looked the same on the field as his back injury this year has impacted his ability on the field. In seven games played, the 29-year-old has hauled in 29 receptions for 448 receiving yards and one touchdown this season. This has seen him tally over 100 receiving yards just once this season, which came in the season opener against the Houston Texans.

Gronkowski is already expected to be out for this week’s action against the Tennessee Titans due to persistent back and ankle injuries. This will mark him being out of the mix for three out of the last four games played. Beyond his availability now, it brings more perspective to possibly why he considered retirement due to his body getting worn out.

In the meantime, it is a situation that the Patriots will continue to monitor closely moving forward this season.