A Rob Gronkowskireturn to the Buccaneers later this season ain't happening ... at least, that's according to Mike Evans -- who says he believes the tight end is 100 percent retired.
"I feel like he's done," Gronk's former teammate told KPRC 2 Houston this week.
Don't get it twisted -- the Tampa Bay wideout said he'd love to see the future Hall of Famer return ... but he explained he just thinks there's too much wear and tear on the 33-year-old's body for a comeback to be a real possibility.
Mike Evans is going to miss playing with @RobGronkowski, who he calls the best TE ever.
Evans also thinks Gronk is done for good.
"...He takes a pretty big beating, I've seen his body after some of them games and I understand why (he would retire)" pic.twitter.com/RuBAL3g7R1
"I hope he comes back," Evans said. "I mean, with Tom [Brady] and Gronk you never know. I wouldn't be mad if he came back. I'd actually be really excited if he came back, but I feel like he's done."
"He takes a pretty big beating," Evans added. "I've seen his body after some of them games and I understand why [he would retire]."
There has been speculation that Gronkowski could rejoin Tom Brady and the Bucs midseason -- his own agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on the day Gronk retired last month that "I wouldn't be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season."
But, Evans clearly believes otherwise ... and said he expects Gronk's absence to be a big one in 2022-23.
"It hurts to lose Gronk, the best tight end ever," Evans said. "But, we gone have to make up for that in other areas. I have to play better. The running backs have to play better. Collectively we have to play better."
"We're going to miss Gronk, but I feel like we can definitely compete for a Super Bowl this year."