Rob Gronkowski only played in eight games for the Patriots and missed New England’s Super Bowl run due to a back injury, but Gronk is optimistic that his rehab is going well and fully plans on playing from the start of the 2017 season. We got a good look at how his back has recovered when he made an appearance in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33 to help his real-life buddy Mojo Rawley.
Gronkowski was in the front row for WrestleMania and had a drink thrown on him by Jinder Mahal, so he stepped in the ring to hit him with a hard shoulder block, taking him down as Rawley went on to win.
Many had the same thought when they saw Gronk jump into the ring and lower his shoulder: What will the Patriots think? I mean, this is their star tight end hitting people in the ring when he hasn’t played in months due to a back injury. However, while Gronk may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, he’s not dumb enough to do something reckless like getting involved in the WWE ring without being cleared.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the New England Patriots cleared Gronkowski’s appearance at WrestleMania. Most NFL contracts have some sort of language prohibiting players from participating in certain activities that have a high risk of injury (like wrestling), so the Patriots probably needed to be briefed on exactly how Gronkowski would be used before giving the thumbs up.
Luckily, Gronkowski did not drop to the mat in pain after lowering his shoulder into Jinder Mahal and if anything this is encouraging for Patriots fans that the team and doctors would clear him for physical activity like this.