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Nothing wrong with Rob Gronkowski’s WrestleMania cameo

04.02.17 at 8:25 pm ET
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Four months after undergoing back surgery, Rob Gronkowski ran roughly 20 feet and delivered a shoulder block. When phrased like that, his appearance at WWE’s WrestleMania Sunday doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Gronkowski, who was seated ringside for the event at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, interfered during a match on behalf of his real-life friend, WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley.

Given Gronkowski’s injury history –– nine surgeries and three back operations since 2009 –– it’s tempting to chastise him for stepping into the squared circle. His rehab from a forearm injury was stalled in 2013 after he body-slammed a friend on the stage of a Las Vegas nightclub. Gronkowski didn’t return until Week 7, and then missed the postseason with a torn ACL.

But these two situations are different. The night club incident took place in February, less than one month after he reinjured his forearm during a Divisional Round bout with the Texans. This time around, Gronkowski underwent back surgery in early December, meaning he’s had several months to recover.

Most importantly, though, Gronkowski didn’t appear to exert all that much energy Sunday. He ran across the ring, threw out his shoulder and then performed a couple of stomps. Running two miles would likely be more physically strenuous.

Of course, there’s a chance Gronkowski could’ve gotten hurt. But according to that logic, players shouldn’t be allowed to partake in any non-football related athletic activities over the offseason. The line between what’s acceptable and unacceptable appears to be arbitrary. For example, it’s unlikely anybody would be in a tizzy if Gronkowski was spotted playing pickup basketball, even though former Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone suffered a season-ending knee injury on the hardwood 14 years ago.

The video of Tom Brady wiping out on a ski jump earlier this year is far more alarming than Gronkowski’s WrestleMania cameo. If anything, it’s encouraging to see him move so well.

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