gronkFOXBOROUGH, MASS. — New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski will have to wear a protective cone dog collar in the wake of his back surgery to repair a herniated disk due to concerns from doctors and team officials that the exuberant tight end might gnaw or lick at his incision wound, preventing it from healing quickly.

Gronk was put in the collar this morning while still groggy from surgery. He tried to wrestle with the bonnet when coming to, but nurses quickly tranquilized him.

John LaCadia, the Patriots team veterinarian, says the biggest concern going forward with Gronk — outside of his back healing — is that he will try to fill his cone with food and smother himself or choke to death.

“Everyone loves him, but boy — Gronk is not a bright one,” said LaCadia. “I think we’d all admit that. So we really need to keep a close eye on him during his recovery. Yes, we don’t want him chewing on his stitches, but at the same time there’s a concern that he fills his cone up with popcorn to watch a movie and chokes to death. Or he sees his cone as a beer funnel and drowns. Unfortunately, with the truly dumb, there’s no way to ever completely protect them.”

Team officials are also discussing what to do if Gronkowski’s competitive career is over. There has been talk of harvesting his semen in order to breed future Gronks.

“Nice,” said Gronk. “I want 69 kids. Haha. Sixty-nine. Yeah.”

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