Mom of Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski: Rob is 'dying to play'

Rob Gronkowski's mom says Rob is 'dying to play.' (USATSI)

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his sixth straight game on Sunday, which only added fuel to the 'When will Gronkowski return' fire, a fire that's getting pretty big.

Gronkowski's mom seemed to sense that, so she reached out to the Boston Herald to defend her son on Sunday, making one thing clear: Rob Gronkowski is dying to get back on the field. Diane Gronkowski also said Rob originally wanted nothing to do with a fourth forearm surgery that he eventually had.

"All I can say is Robbie is dying to play. He wants to get out there," Diane Gronkowski said, via the Boston Herald.  "He's doing what he has to do to get back playing. He doesn't like it.  He wants to play.  It really bothers him that he's not playing."

New England owner Robert Kraft said over the weekend that Rob Gronkowski is 'the only one who can decide' when he returns and Diane echoed that sentiment. 

"Rob is the only one who can make this decision," Diane Gronkowski said. "Anybody else who has a comment to make positively or negatively aren't Rob. They aren't in his shoes. They didn't go through the surgeries that he went through."

Gronk's mom then went on to talk about Rob's critics, "When they go through four arm surgeries, a back surgery, and a foot surgery in a year and a half, then they can make the comments," Diane Gronkowski said.

Diane Gronkowski also made mention of the fact that Rob didn't want to get a fourth forearm surgery, a procedure he eventually had done on May 20. "After the third [forearm] surgery, Robbie said, 'I'm never doing this again.' And weeks later, he's back in for the fourth one," Diane said. "So he doesn't want to go back where he was and start all over again. It wasn't fun. It was so discouraging."

The offseason might have been discouraging, but Diana had a positive outlook on Rob's future, "It'll work out in the end, it always does."

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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