New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said on The Jim Rome Show that he would rather have a concussion than a knee injury.
"Uh, so if we're sitting here and I had to choose would I want a concussion right now or my knee blown out, I'm going to say a concussion," Gronkowski said, according to CBSSports.com. "Why would I want to sit there for eight months and not do anything, when with a concussion I'll just wake up and I'll be ready to go again."
Gronkowski said the same thing on a Boston radio show last April.
"Would I rather have a concussion and be out for three days or rather have a knee injury and be rehabbing for six months?" he said on WAAF's The Hill-Man Morning Show. "I would rather have a concussion and be out for three days anytime."
Gronkowski has never missed an NFL game because of a concussion, but he did suffer one in 2013 on the same play in which he tore his ACL, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported at the time.
Several other NFL players have echoed Gronkowski's sentiments about concussions. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who missed his team's playoff game after injuring his knee on a low tackle, told SI Now in January that he would rather be hit in the head than in the knee.
"When I got hit in my knee, it was such a scary thing for me," Bell said. "For me, I would rather get hit in the head and get a concussion for one or two weeks, rather than get hit in my knee and be out for the whole year."
Concerns about brain trauma have recently led several football players to end their careers. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired last month after one season in the NFL, citing head trauma concerns. Jack Miller, the starting center at the University of Michigan, made a similar announcement one week later.
- Dan Gartland