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Rob Gronkowski compares what Patriots will go through following tough loss to what he's dealt with all year

Ryan Hannable
December 10, 2018 - 7:40 am

MIAMI -- It's been a tough year for Rob Gronkowski.

Not only dealing with nagging back and ankle injuries, but not being as productive on the field as he's used to. Prior to Sunday's game against the Dolphins, Gronkowski has had just two other games with more than four catches and has missed three out of the 13 games.

The All-Pro tight end has had to display a lot of mental toughness over the course of the year to stay focused, which led to a game like Sunday where he had a season-high eight catches, over 100 yards and a touchdown. At times it seems he's struggled with his confidence, which is understandable given what he's been in the past and now opponents aren't even paying extra attention to him with double teams, but yet he still hasn't been a major contributor to the offense for most of the year.

Speaking after the game, Gronkowski compared how he's felt all year to what the Patriots will go through in order to bounce back after a shocking loss Sunday against the Dolphins.

Miami shocked the Patriots 34-33 on a 69-yard touchdown on the final play, which had several laterals and several missed tackles by the defense.

"It's going to test our character," Gronkowski said. "It's going to test our mental toughness. I mean, I feel like I've been going through that all year, and now to get to this point now. We’ve just got to keep working hard. We’ve just got to keep grinding. We’ve got to keep focusing and just come together as a team more. It's definitely, definitely going to test our mental toughness."

The Patriots don't have any time to sulk as they have a tough game against the Steelers Sunday in Pittsburgh. If New England wins out it will be the No. 2 seed, but one loss may have the team playing on wild card weekend since the Texans are right behind them in the standings.

Related: Josh Gordon finds positive in loss to Dolphins