Rob Gronkowski suspended 1 game for 'dirty' hit that sent Bills player into concussion protocol

  • Rob Gronkowski was suspended one game for committing unnecessary roughness on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White.
  • During a play in the fourth quarter, Gronkowski came behind White and hit him in the back of the head with his shoulder and arm, placing White into concussion protocol.
  • The NFL told Gronkowski that his place placed White "at risk of serious injury."


The NFL on Monday announced that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will be suspended one game for a hit on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White in Week 13.

In the fourth quarter, after an interception on Tom Brady, White was face-down on the ground when Gronkowski came up behind him and jumped on him, shoving his shoulder and arm in the back of White's head. Gronkowski was flagged, but not ejected for the play, while White was helped off the field and placed in the concussion protocol.

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Rob Gronkowski during Patriots-Bills on Dec. 3
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Rob Gronkowski during Patriots-Bills on Dec. 3
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots runs the ball as Micah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills attempts to tackle him during the third quarter on December 3, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots talks with back judge Dino Paganelli #105 during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on December 3, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots and Tre'Davious White #27 of the Buffalo Bills attempt to catch the ball during the fourth quarter on December 3, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) makes a third quarter reception in spite of the efforts of Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27). The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season NFL football game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) intercepts a pass intended for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87). Gronkowski was charged with a unsportsmanlike penalty on the play. The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season NFL football game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) lays injured after his interception of a pass intended for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) during the fourth quarter. The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season NFL football game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) argues his case to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, and an on field official after an altercation involving Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White during the fourth quarter. The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season NFL football game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks with the on field officials after an altercation involving New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87). The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season NFL football game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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Gronkowski apologized for the hit after the game, but several Bills players said the hit was "dirty" and did not have a place in the game. Cameras caught Bill Belichick telling Bills coach Sean McDermott after the game that Gronkowski's hit was "bull----."

In the NFL's letter to Gronkowski, Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan wrote, "Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury."

The Patriots play the Dolphins in Week 14.

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