Rob Gronkowski’s late, dirty hit on Bills rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White was the talk of the NFL on Sunday. Gronkowski was, somehow, not ejected for his diving elbow into the back of White’s head, which sent the rookie into concussion protocol.
After the game, Bill Belichick apologized at midfield to Bills head coach Sean McDermott for the “bullsh*t” play, while Gronkowski apologized to White for the hit in his post-game scrum, saying he’s not “in the business” of doing that. Apologies, sadly, won’t take away White’s head injury.
On Monday, the NFL announced Gronkowski’s punishment for his cheap shot would be a one game suspension, to be served in New England’s Week 14 game against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
The letter sent to Gronkowski noted the hit was “not accidental” and “placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury.” Gronkowski could appeal the suspension, but it’d be a surprise if he won said suspension and, with a critical game against the Steelers looming the week after the Dolphins game, one would expect the Patriots to want him to serve his suspension against Miami and not Pittsburgh.
The Patriots, at 10-2 and with a chance to knock off Pittsburgh the following week, should be able to stem the tide of being without their star tight end for a week. The biggest impact of Gronkowski’s suspension is on fantasy football players entering the playoffs, as Gronk was likely a key component for a number of fantasy players.