No one will ever question the talent of Rob Gronkowski. He is a true game changer and an eventual hall of famer, heck there are people who consider him to be the best tight end to ever play the game. In case you’re not in that camp; let me throw some numbers at you.

Brady’s Numbers With/Without Gronk
With Gronk 2,044 3,116 65.6% 24,722 7.9 189 39 104.8
Without Gronk 412 714 57.7% 4,663 6.5 32 13 84.7

In case you’re still living in the upside down, or blind, actually I don’t have a way to relay this information to you if you can’t see, so this is really for the stubborn or North Korean captives. Tom Brady is one of few truly “elite” quarterbacks, possibly at the top of the list. When one player can have this much impact on one of the greats, he’s special. If you’re still not convinced, do me a favor; go buy some eggnog, spike the crap out of it, sit down by a crackling fire, and re-evaluate your life up to this point.

I got off on a tangent there, let’s reel this back in. The only possible knock people could possibly have on Gronk, unless you consider being too big, strong, or awesome bad attributes, is that in his career, he has had trouble staying on the field. This season was no different.

Earlier in the season he missed some time from a hamstring injury and also a bruised lung. More recently however, Gronk was placed on the IR to have his third back surgery in 7 years. SportsStarch was able to speak to members of the medical team since his surgery.

“It went well, I’ll preface with that to ease people’s minds, but it didn’t go exactly as planned,” said Dr. Hugh G. Rection, head of nuero and spinal surgery at Boston University Hospital. “We reached out to Marvel because Rob was convinced Adamantium was a real thing, but it turns out it wasn’t. The alternative we went with was greater than normal spinal fusion. Typical spinal fusion involves fusing two vertebrae together for stability. [Rob] expressed some frustration, and wanted to ensure he could play next season in its entirety.” Later in the conversation, Rection explained the details, “…9. We fused 9 vertebrae together. Oddly enough, that leaves him with 9 separate vertebrae in total now, when all of the fusions are accounted for.”

I was embarrassed to ask, so after the interview I went on WebMD to get some information. This level of fusion will limit Gronk’s mobility a bit, but he could get hit by tank and get right up, at least that’s what WebMD user goofygal236 commented. Can we take a moment to speak about the ads on the internet though? Relentless. I did end up purchasing Extenz though… never mind, that’s for another article.

To conclude, Gronk has 9 vertebrae, he won’t be able to do cartwheels anymore, but he’s sturdy. Expect to see him spiking the ball next season.