Report: Rob Gronkowski Has Official Timeline for When He Can Return to the Patriots

Retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski still makes people talk about his possible return. He keeps making jokes, but that will have to stop at one point.

Gronk decided to call it career after the big Super Bowl win. But, if he decides to come back on the field, he will have to apply for reinstatement by December 7.

The tight end is on NFL’s reserve/retired list. He will have to make a decision whether or not he wants the play in the Patriots’ Week 13 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Per NFL contract rules, Gronkowski, who just began a role as an analyst for Fox last week, would have to apply for reinstatement by Dec. 7 to be eligible to play at all in the 2019 regular season or postseason,” Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports wrote. “Gronkowski is currently on the league’s reserve/retired list, and there are specific regulations that apply to his situation, since he was placed on that roster designation prior to the start of training camp.

“In that situation, according to a league source, a player on the reserve/retired list who requested reinstatement prior to the trade deadline (Oct. 29 this season) would have to be granted that opportunity (not that New England would even consider not granting it). If a player on the reserve/retired list requested reinstatement after the deadline but up until the last business day prior to the club’s 13th game, the team would have the option of accepting or declining the request (again, the Patriots would welcome back Gronk at any point).

“A player on the reserve/retired list cannot request reinstatement after the club’s 13th game. New England’s 13th game comes in Week 14 against the Chiefs on Dec. 8. So the last business day before that game is Friday Dec. 6, and the waiver deadline for roster transactions comes at 4 p.m. ET that day. For all intents and purposes that is the last opportunity for Gronkowski to have a change of heart and opt to play this season.”

Gronk was plagued with injuries, and his body was in pain. That’s why he decided to retire and give his body the attention it needs.

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