Recently, retired tight end Rob Gronkowski shot down rumors of a possible comeback with the New England Patriots. Now an NFL analyst for Fox Sports, Gronkowski said he’s satisfied with his decision to leave the game after nine seasons with the Patriots. “I say it all the time, I would have never left the game if I was going to be itching every single day,” said Gronkowski. However, veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman believes that it would be “awesome” for the Patriots if Gronkowski comes out of retirement and join them in their hunt for a seventh Super Bowl trophy.

"I don't know. If he does (return), hey, that's awesome. We need it,” Edelman told WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” when asked about Gronkowski’s pronouncement that he will stay retired. Edelman clarified that Gronkowski’s future is not his concern at the moment since he and the Patriots are focused on their Monday Night Football (MNF) showdown with the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. “You're worried about the Jets, who you're playing this week. That's how it goes,” said Edelman.

Patriots down two tight ends

Edelman’s statement about “needing” Gronkowski was timely since the Patriots could possibly play the Jets with just two tight ends on their roster. Ryan Izzo missed Friday’s practice because he’s being evaluated for a concussion, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

Reiss said Izzo’s status against the Jets is questionable. Based on Reiss’ report, Izzo could have sustained the concussion during Thursday’s full-pads practice. This season, Izzo has six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Aside from Izzo, Matt LaCosse was the other tight end who has appeared in a game for the Patriots this season, but he’s also down with an MCL sprain and could miss a few weeks.

The Patriots currently have Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson as tight ends, whom they both signed several days ago. The Patriots re-signed Watson just one week after releasing him due to the lack of a roster spot. It was reported that, aside from a veteran wide receiver, the Patriots are looking to add another tight end to their roster before the Oct.

29 trade deadline. Among those being targeted, by the Patriots, are Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper and tight end O.J. Howard of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are reports that the Patriots are also interested in Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.

Watson excited to make season debut

This season was a roller-coaster ride for Watson, who came out of retirement and signed a one-year deal with the Patriots as replacement for Gronkowski. The 38-year-old Watson was suspended for four games due to violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. When his suspension ended, the Patriots did not activate him against the Washington Redskins and eventually released him. Days after, the Patriots signed him for the rest of the season and he’s making his season debut against the Jets on Monday. “It’s been a while, so I’m excited to play a real football game Monday night, no less,” said Watson, who played for the Patriots from 2004 to 2009.