The NFL has handed down punishment for New England TE Rob Gronkowski after his dirty hit on Tre'Davious White after the play Sunday.
Gronkowski plans to appeal the suspension, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, and perhaps have it reduced to just a fine.
In a letter to Gronkowski, Jon Runyan, NFL Vice President of Football Operations, said, "Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury". "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".
White cradled the ball on the sidelines immediately after landing and seconds later, Gronkowski delivered a disgusting, unnecessary and cheap hit on the 22-year old, launching his massive 6-foot-7, 265-pound frame onto the defenseless cornerback. Gronkowski was flagged for unnecessary roughness but not ejected. It was a lot of frustration. "I don't believe in taking shots like that".
"I definitely want to apologize to (White)", he said, in part (via NBC Sports Boston). What makes matters worse is that White is now in the league's concussion protocol.
Without Gronkowski, the Patriots will rely more heavily on No. 2 tight end Dwayne Allen, just as they did on October 5 against Tampa Bay, which was the only game Gronkowski didn't play this season (thigh injury).
Why Gronkowski was so frustrated is a mystery. This year, he has caught 55 passes for 849 yards and seven touchdowns.
It was unclear what McDermott said to Belichick to elicit that response from the Patriots coach. "And just a couple times during the game, and they're calling me for the craziest, craziest stuff ever". And then they don't call that. "But, just through the frustration process, game of football emotions, just what happened".