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Rob Gronkowski isn't thinking about 2019, but says he's all-in for rest of year

Ryan Hannable
December 27, 2018 - 5:32 pm

FOXBORO -- Earlier in the week, Tom Brady told Jim Gray Westwood One Radio he "absolutely" plans on playing in 2019.

Speaking Thursday, Rob Gronkowski was asked if he plans on playing next year, but wasn't as committal as his quarterback.

“I haven’t been thinking about that at all," he said. "I mean, we’re on the last game going into Week 17. We have the Jets and that is all I am really worried about as of now.”

Although he wouldn't commit to next season, he did say he is enjoying himself, which seemed to be one of the reasons why he contemplated retirement after last season.

“Yeah, definitely," Gronkowski said. "Today, we had a good day today. A lot of guys, we were goofing off. But, at the same time we were getting our work done. Today was a good day.”

It has been a challenging season for the 29-year-old as he's dealt with ankle/back injuries seemingly all year, which forced him to miss three out of four games prior to the bye week. On the field, he hasn't looked like himself. He's lacked explosiveness and the ability to get open. In 12 games, he has 45 catches for 658 yards and three touchdowns.

Not being himself and coming back a few injuries has been tough on him not only physically, but mentally as well.

“It’s definitely a challenge," Gronkowski said. "I would say that is probably 50 percent of it. I mean, yeah you can have the physical tools and everything, but if you’re not mentally there all way then you’re not going to be able to use the physical tools how you want to use them. Definitely, you just have to stay positive. You learn a lot of things every single year about yourself as you get older, too — how you adapt to things. You just learn you have to stay positive. You can never get too down on yourself. Yeah, you can get down on yourself a little bit to get re-motivated and stuff, but that has happened to me before, you get too down and you dig yourself a bigger hole so you just have to stay balanced. It is a roller coaster season as you guys have seen all year. When everything isn’t going right you just have to stay positive and keep going, keep doing what you need to do and you know you’ll bounce back.”

Earlier in the year, Gronkowski connected himself to Brady, but when asked if he wanted to play as long as Brady does, he wouldn't commit to that, either.

“We haven’t thought about that, I haven’t thought about that," he said. "But, we have this big game Sunday still, and the playoffs after. That is the last thing that’s on my mind right now. I love the grind. I am all-in. I have been all-in all season no matter if it has been up, if it’s been down and I am going to tell you this right now, I am going to be all-in for the rest of the year no matter when it is and that is my main focus no matter how it goes.”

Gronkowski closed his press conference in typical Gronk-fashion when asked about a specific time he got down on himself this year?

“I don’t know. But, I have before," he said. "It’s over. I am back on the roller coaster, baby. I’m going. I am here for the ride. See ya."

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