Report: Rob Gronkowski played through bulging disc, Achilles tendinitis

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski struggled through a slog of a season, posting down numbers for him across the board. Now we know why.

That Gronk was banged up this year has been known for a while. He missed three games and finished the season with just 47 receptions for 682 yards and three touchdowns.

However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media detailed exactly what was ailing the big man, and it’s easy to understand why he had a rough go when you see what he fought through.

Back in Week 5, Gronkowski reportedly started dealing with Achilles tendinitis. That’s a more significant injury than what was reported at the time, which was an ankle injury.

Then in Week 7 he suffered a bulging disc in his back. Rapoport wrote that, “It took him more than a month to show signs of recovery and in Week 15 he was finally off the report, only to return for Week 16.”

Thankfully for the Patriots, Gronk is fully healthy now. It showed a couple of weeks back when he hauled in six passes for 79 yards — his best game in well over a month.

But these injuries that Gronkowski dealt with in 2018 give further credence to the notion he’s thinking about hanging up the cleats after Super Bowl LIII — win or lose.