Rob Gronkowski: Door not closed to a return

Though Gronkowski has previously indicated he doesn't have plans to resume his playing career, during a pre-game interview on NFL Network Thursday night, Patriots owner Robert Kraft expressed his hope that the tight end might reconsider that stance, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.

Meanwhile, Gronkowski -- who has yet to file his retirement papers, per Kraft -- made his debut Thursday night as a FOX Sports analyst. When asked about Kraft's comments and the possibility of embarking on a comeback at some point, Gronkowski replied, "I would have to be feeling it, feeling it big-time to come back. It's always going to be open in my mind...I love the game of football. I love playing the game. I love being around the game. I even love watching the game of football now." While Gronkowski doesn't seem close to changing his mind at this stage, the fact that he's not entirely closing the door to that idea could make it tempting for those in leagues with ample roster space/flexibility to consider stashing the tight end. That said, such a move would be speculative and require an acknowledgement that it's still something of a longshot Gronkowski returns to the 6-0 Patriots in time to make a fantasy impact in 2019.

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