Rob Gronkowski hasn't submitted his retirement paperwork yet, which leaves hope for a return to Patriots

An interesting tidbit by Patriots owner Robert Kraft hints at a possible return for TE Rob Gronkowski.

Thursday night will be Rob Gronkowski debut on the FOX NFL set as an NFL analyst, which will kickoff the beginning of his new career in sports media. 

However, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says that even though Gronk has started his new career it doesn't mean he won't backtrack and go back to playing football, which has been left open by his reluctancy to close the books on his NFL career. Literally. 

While on NFL Network's pregame show, here is what Kraft had to say about Gronkowski failing to submit his retirement paperwork, which leaves open the possibility of the future Hall of Fame tight end returning to play football. 

"We all love Gronk and I think the bottom line is, he hasn't put his retirement papers in," Kraft said. "We can pray and hope. .... I think that's a good academic argument that there is hope with Gronk."

This is news to everyone, even former Patriot Willie McGinest who was on set with Kraft when he announced that little bit of news. 

If Gronkowski were to submit his retirement paperwork that would mean he would have to then submit a formal request to the NFL to re-enter the league. However, by not submitting the paper work the former tight end should be able to return to the game whenever he wishes and play for New England. 

Right now Gronkowski is on the reserve/retired list. He would have to be taken off the list by Dec. 1, per NFL rules, if he wanted to return to football this season.