The former Patriots tight end was sympathetic to Andrew Luck's decision to retire.
"I feel for him," Gronkowski said Tuesday during a press conference. "I was in tears in my bed after a Super Bowl victory."
Gronkowski, 30, was seen limping off the field during the second quarter of Super Bowl LIII in February after getting hit high and low by Rams' Cory Littleton. New England's athletic trainer appeared to be working on Gronkowski’s right thigh for a few seconds but the tight end returned to the field and did not receive any additional medical attention after the collision.
The former Patriots star revealed on Tuesday that four weeks following his team's Super Bowl victory, he was still hurting with his thigh bruise and had internal bleeding.
"Football was bringing me down," he said.
During his retirement announcement, which came after Indianapolis dropped a preseason game 27–17 to the Bears, an emotional Luck admitted that his own injuries have "taken the joy of this game away."
"This is not an easy decision. Honestly, it's the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me," said Luck, who turns 30 on Sept. 12.
Luck was set to enter his eighth year with the Colts, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Stanford. The veteran quarterback was plagued by injuries throughout his career, which he said prompted his decision to retire. He missed the entire 2017 season while dealing with a shoulder injury. He rebounded with a fourth Pro Bowl season in 2018, throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns while leading the Colts back to the playoffs but a high left ankle injury that is a result of a calf strain stunted the start to his 2019 season.
Gronkowski battled other injuries throughout his career prior to his retirement this past spring, one of which caused him to miss out on the Patriots win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Gronkowski did not play in the team's 2016 championship after being placed on injured reserve in early December that season following back surgery.