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NORA PRINCIOTTI

Rob Gronkowski details the physical toll his body takes

Rob Gronkowski is 29, and his body has taken countless hits over his football career.
Rob Gronkowski is 29, and his body has taken countless hits over his football career.(KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES)

Rob Gronkowski said as he has in the past that he’ll take time to think about his future this offseason, and avoided answering whether he’ll retire after the Super Bowl.

“Yes, no, maybe so,” the Patriots tight end said on Wednesday.

Gronkowski did give a candid acknowledgment of the physical difficulties of life in the NFL. He’s 29 and has taken countless hits, and his comments certainly made it seem like it wouldn’t be shocking if this season is his last.

“The season’s a grind. It’s up and down. I’m not going to lie and sit here and say every week is the best,” Gronkowski said. “Not at all. You go up, you go down. You can take some serious hits. To tell you the truth, just try and imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life. It’s tough, it’s difficult. To take hits to the thigh, take hits to your head. Abusing your body isn’t what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood. You’ve got to be able to deal with that, too, throughout the season. You’ve got to be able to deal with that in the games.

“And no one realizes that, and everyone expects us players to be wide awake every single day, and it’s like, ‘Yo, I just took 50 hits to my head,’ or not to my head, but I’m saying I just took 50 collisions, and then like the next day everyone wants you to be up. They want practice full speed, next week they want the game to be full speed, but they don’t understand sometimes what players are going through with their bodies, with their minds. That’s why I’ve been saying you see a shift in players in games where people are down the whole game, and then you see, all of a sudden, the next week it’s like, ‘How did this team just go from one switch to the other?’ ”

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Nora Princiotti can be reached at nora.princiotti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.

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