Tony Gonzalez is officially back with the Atlanta Falcons.
After toying with the idea of retirement and ultimately deciding this spring to return, the tight end returned to the team for training camp but left shortly afterward. Tony had made a promise to his 12-year-old son, Nikko, to be with him as he started his youth football career, meaning he was away from the Falcons for much of training camp.
But Gonzalez is now back with the team again, joining his teammates on Sunday and planning to play in the Falcons next preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
“It’s time for me to get back there,” Gonzalez told Fox Sports. “I need to get some work with [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] and the offense. I’m excited.”
The Atlanta Falcons are closing their training camp on Sunday, but Tony Gonzalez is expected to get some work in before it closes.
Though he’s now 38, Tony Gonzalez has a lot left in the tank. Last year he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl for the 13th time.
Gonzalez, who had flirted with the idea of retirement during last season, announced in March that he was coming back to the Falcons for one more year of football. The future Hall of Fame tight end tweeted to fans that “the lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up.”
His return gives the Falcons one of the most unstoppable receiving corps in the league. Gonzalez remains a dangerous player with a knack for getting open, and combined with Julio Jones and Roddy White the team has the ability to give a defense fits.
For Tony Gonzalez, 2013 represents the last chance to win a Super Bowl. Until last season he had never won a playoff game, but this year the Falcons are a favorite of many NFL observers to win it all.