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Gronk apologizes for shot, but discipline may be forthcoming

Boston Herald
December 03. 2017 9:00PM
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski runs the ball after a catch during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

In the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ 23-3 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday, a chippy game went over the top on a play in which Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White intercepted a ball intended for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

After the play was over, White was laying face down on the Patriots sideline when the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski leapt and dropped his full body weight on the rookie. During and after the play, four 15-yard penalties were assessed, two for each team, and all of the personal foul and unnecessary roughness variety. Gronkowski was flagged for unnecessary roughness but not ejected.

There is almost certainly league discipline coming in either the form of a fine, suspension or both. White was treated in the concussion protocol after the game.

In his postgame comments, Gronkowski apologized to White, but blamed his actions over frustration with officials both during the game and over the course of his career.

“First of all, I definitely want to apologize to No. 27 (White). I mean, I’m not in the business of that,” Gronkowski said. “There was a lot of frustration. I was just really frustrated at that moment naturally through emotions and frustration, and just want (to apologize to) Tre’Davious White. I don’t really believe in those type shots like that. But, just through the frustration process, game of football emotions, just what happened.”

In the third quarter, Gronkowski was flagged for pass interference on a play with minimal contact. On the White interception, the Bills cornerback tugged Gronkowski’s jersey several times but was not flagged. For the game, Gronkowski caught nine passes for 147 yards but felt he was consistently held and did not get the benefit of the doubt from the officials.


“I kind of felt like he pushed me a little bit and made the play, and I just don’t understand why there wasn’t a flag,” Gronkowski said of the play. “And just a couple times during the game, and they’re calling me for the craziest, craziest stuff ever. I mean, it’s like, crazy. What am I supposed to do? And then they don’t call that? It was just frustration. That’s what happened.”

A reporter asked Gronkowski if the hit was a culmination of feelings from the officiating toward him over the last couple years and the tight end answered, “Most of the past couple seven years (his entire career).”

As to what he can do to combat what he feels is unfair treatment from the officials, Gronkowski said, “I don’t know. I’ve just got to keep playing and just keep playing hard.”


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