Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski recently declared that he’s not keen on returning to the New England Patriots this season. However, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there is a possibility that Gronkowski might end his retirement and help his former team in their push for a seventh Super Bowl trophy. Based on his sources with knowledge of the situation, Florio reported there’s a 20-percent chance that Gronkowski might return to the Patriots this season.

While the possibility was down from the 40-percent estimate back in July, the slim chance of Gronkowski returning to the NFL is positive news for the Patriots, who are shallow at tight end with just Ben Watson and Ryan Izzo playing in their 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. New England’s third tight end, Matt LaCosse, was out against the Ravens due to a knee injury. The lack of tight end depth was evident in the Patriots’ loss to the Ravens with Watson hauling just four catches for 28 yards.

Gronkowski has less than four weeks to decide

If Gronkowski decides to return this season, Florio said he has less than four weeks to do so as he needs to return before the Patriots’ Week 13 game against the Houston Texans. If the Patriots don’t place him on their active roster during that period, the veteran tight end has to clear waivers where other squads could claim him. In a recent interview with John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, Gronkowski claimed that he’s not keen on returning this season as he’s busy with his job as NFL analyst for Fox Sports and endorser of CBD oil.

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However, Gronkowski said he could make a future comeback if he feels the need to play again. Patriots CEO Robert Kraft repeatedly said that Gronkowski is always welcome to return to the Patriots anytime he feels the need to come out of retirement. In case Gronkowski returns, the Patriots have around $3.9 million in cap space to sign him, according to Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal.

Ravens’ loss a learning experience for Patriots

According to Patriots safety Duron Harmon, their loss to the Ravens would help the team learn from adversity and help them grow.

“So, it’s all about just learning from the loss, continue to move forward, continue to get better,” said Harmon, following the loss that dropped them to 8-1 on the season. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy admitted the loss left the Patriots with so many things to fix, but he’s confident that they will be able to regain their winning form when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11. The Patriots will use their bye week to pick up the pieces and prepare for the Eagles, especially the defense.

“I think adversity is a great teacher, and hopefully, we apply the lesson,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said.

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