After all, Spikes and the Patriots have a complicated relationship. The linebacker was put on injured reserve after being late to practice during the 2014 postseason. He left the team and joined the AFC East rival Bills -- and ripped the Patriots on Twitter after leaving. When Spikes returned to the Patriots this offseason, it seemed he and the Patriots had buried the hatchet.
Rob Gronkowski played through a lot of pain last year. And if he decides to come out of retirement, he'll likely have to do the same.
It's been widely reported that injuries played a factor in the New England Patriots tight end's decision to step away from football at age 29. Among those injuries was a bulging disc in Gronkowski's back that NFL Media's Mike Giardi reported might need surgery at some point this offseason.
In his column Monday for The MMQB, Albert Breer confirmed Gronkowski's back injury played a role in his retirement decision and could dissuade him from attempting a comeback:
One reason why Gronkowski scuffled through 2018 was a mid-season battle with a bulging disk in his back. By the end of the year, it was no longer a factor. But I’m told that knowing how close he might have been to a fourth back surgery, and the implications that could have down the line, was one factor in his decision to retire.
So just logically, it’d be hard to imagine that concern would go away at 30 years old. Or, at the very least, would be one mental hurdle he’d have to clear if he were to come back again.
— Rutgers University–New Brunswick (@RutgersNB) May 19, 2019
Devin and Jason reached the pinnacle of success with the Patriots this past season, becoming the first twins to win a Super Bowl as teammates when New England defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
But that achievement was the result of years of hard work for both brothers, who stepped outside their comfort zones to pursue their NFL dreams despite not being elite recruits out of high school.
"If we accept those fears from others, how can we unlock our true purpose on this earth?” Devin said. "Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. The power of positive thinking can change your life."
Devin then brought it back to the Patriots, whose modern-day dynasty began when head coach Bill Belichick trusted his gut and stuck with Tom Brady as the team's starting quarterback in 2001 over Drew Bledsoe.
“I know chasing goals can be scary," he said. "You may be doing things for the first time in your family’s history. You may be following in the footsteps of someone great. But do you think we’d be standing here, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Paul Robeson’s graduation, if he let fear and doubt step in the way of being great?
"Would the Patriots have won six Super Bowls if Bill Belichick listened to other people and put (Tom) Brady back on the bench?"
Devin is right, as Belichick's QB decision led to a series of events that reunited the twins on New England's sixth Super Bowl title team.
You can check out the McCourtys' full speech in the video below:
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