Rob Gronkowski tried to close the door on talk of his NFL return.
But Julian Edelman isn't exactly helping his ex-teammate's cause.
During his weekly interview Friday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," the New England Patriots wide receiver was asked if he believes Gronkowski's recent declaration that he doesn't plan on coming out of retirement.
"I don't know. If he does (return), hey, that's awesome. We need it."
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"Need" is an interesting verb for Edelman to use considering current the state of the Patriots' offense. If the injured Josh Gordon can't play Monday night, only Phillip Dorsett and rookie Jakobi Meyers are behind Edelman on the wide receiver depth chart.
New England is even thinner at tight end: 38-year-old Ben Watson is the de facto starter after re-signing with the team but hasn't played in a game this season, and his two current backups are Ryan Izzo and recent pickup Eric Tomlinson.
So, yeah. Tom Brady could use a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end in his offense (even if that tight end is a little slimmer than he used to be).
Edelman quickly clarified that Gronkowki's future isn't his concern at the moment.
"You're not really worried about that," he added. "You're worried about the (New York) Jets, who you're playing this week. That's how it goes."
The Patriots' 6-0 start suggests they haven't missed Gronk during the early portion of the season. They'll face much stiffer competition after Week 7, though, and it sounds like Edelman and his teammates are well aware of the void their tight end left.
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