FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft commented on the unusual joint injury statement that was released Tuesday with the team and tight end Rob Gronkowski, explaining the thinking behind it.
Speaking on his weekly pregame radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Kraft said: “Before the game was over, according to [vice president of media relations] Stacey [James], people were saying he was gone for the year. Then within 24 hours, he was going to be back for this game. Everybody on the team is really important but there are a couple of players where the magnitude of interest rises to a whole different level. When you have that type of extreme, we felt putting out a statement that ended mindless speculation [was the right thing].”
Kraft added that “everybody in the organization was completely on board with it,” even if Bill Belichick didn’t want to talk about it publicly.
Asked about possible friction between Gronkowski’s family and the team, Kraft said, “There has never been any friction between Rob and the team. Rob, from the day he put on a helmet at the start of the second round and was parading on stage, has been a quintessential Patriot. He works as hard as anyone in the building.”
Kraft added that Gronkowski does as much in the community as anyone on the team and that they “love having him on the team.”
“From the day he donned the helmet, it’s been awesome having him here,” he said.