Rob Gronkowski Says He’s “Probably Had, Like, 20 Concussions”

Including five "blackout ones," he says.

Photo via AP Photo/Corey Sipkin

Rob Gronkowski’s been knocked around quite a bit in his football career. He’s been open about that fact, and the extent of the beating he took playing for the Patriots, revealing recently that he had to have a liter of blood removed from his leg after a brutal bruise he sustained at the most recent Super Bowl.

But Gronk dropped some more alarming news on us this week, estimating that in his time on the field, he’s had as many as 20 concussions, including five “blackout ones.”

He offered that information in response to a question in a CBS news segment about what advice he’d give a hypothetical child who wanted to play football, too. A clip of the interview was recorded on Tuesday morning, according to a time stamp in the video, but emerged online Thursday afternoon.

“I would let my son play football, but first off I would educate him on the game, educate him on what I went through. I truly believe that any injury you receive is fixable,” he says.

“I went through it. I had nine surgeries. I probably had like 20 concussions in my life,” he explains, adding that five of those concussions were “blackout ones.”

Experts disagree on exactly how important the number of concussions an athlete sustains is, but 20 would no doubt be of serious concern. According to official records cited by USA Today, Gronk has only had three documented concussions—two with the Patriots, and one in college. A concussion he sustained in January’s AFC Championship Game put his participation in Super Bowl LIII in question.

Gronk’s openness about his medical history comes as he promotes his involvement in a CBD company, CBDMedic. He has said products mixed with the cannabis-derived substance have helped him recover from extensive injuries.

He’s constantly fielding questions about whether he might return to the NFL, a prospect that still appears to be on the table. “I have to be really feeling it to come back,” he also says in the CBS clip, but adds, “I’m in a good place right now.”