Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski suspended one game for late hit on Sunday

Kristopher Nichols
December 5, 2017

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots has been suspended without pay for one game for a violation of unnecessary roughness rules in Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Gronkowski, who will be eligible to return to the active roster following the team's December 11 Monday night game against the Miami Dolphins, also apologized after the game.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. While White was laying face-down on the ground, Gronkowski (who was the intended receiver on the play) dove into White from behind and hit him in the head with his shoulder. "The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of 'eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game.' Those hits include the play you were involved in yesterday". There was undoubtedly contact initiated by White prior to him intercepting the ball, with a grab and a push, and this had Gronkowski upset. His appeal not going through will ensure he misses at least two games in a season for the fourth time in his eight-year career. He's on his way to a fourth 1,000-yard season, with 849 through 11 contests.

As expected, Gronkowski has been suspended for Week 14 after a dirty and illegal hit on Sunday that left Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White with a concussion. Gronkowski was also frustrated with previous calls against him, saying the referees called him for the "craziest stuff ever" on a couple of occasions earlier in the game.

Dec 3 2017 Orchard Park NY USA New England Patriots defensive end Eric Lee celebrates with free safety Devin Mc Courty after making an interception during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit Mark K
Credit Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

"I definitely want to apologize to number 27", he said, referring to White.

"That's a dirty play, man", Hyde said.

"I'd say on anything that is outside of our control, such as injuries that could go down to pregame workouts and so forth, things that are out of control are out of our control", Belichick said. "I don't really believe in any types of shots like that but just through the frustration process - the game of football - emotions, (it's) what happened". "It was a lot of frustration and I was just really frustrated at that moment and it just happened naturally through emotions and frustration".

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