Rob Gronkowski under fire for 'dirty' hit that sent a Bills player into concussion protocol

  • Rob Gronkowski on Sunday dove onto Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White, hitting White in the back of the head while White was lying on the ground.
  • White was helped off the field and sent into the concussion protocol.
  • Several Bills players and media members called Gronkowski's hit "dirty" while Bill Belichick said it was "bull----."


New England Patriots right end Rob Gronkowski was widely criticized around the NFL world for a late hit on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White that the Bills called "dirty."

In the fourth quarter, White intercepted a pass from Tom Brady. While laying face-down on the sideline, Gronkowski came up from behind White and dove onto him, sending his forearm and shoulder into the back of White's head.

White was helped off the field by an assistant and was placed in the concussion protocol.

Here's the hit:

After the game, Bills safety Micah Hyde called the hit dirty, saying he thought Gronkowski should have been ejected.

"That's a dirty play, man," Hyde said. "That's not cool. It's amazing to me that you don't get ejected for something like that. It's crazy. He obviously saw him on the ground. It's like a wrestling move. I don't know — elbow, shoulder — I don't know what it was. I saw on the replay it was just a dirty play, man. That's something the NFL talks about all the time about not wanting."

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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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Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he was "not happy" about the play, saying such plays have no place in the NFL. Several other Bills players made similar sentiments.

While Patriots coach Bill Belichick after the game said he didn't see much of the play and it wasn't something he could control, cameras caught him telling McDermott immediately after the game that Gronkowski's hit was "bull----" while apologizing.

Gronkowski also apologized after the game and said that he was frustrated by the officiating throughout the game.

Several others in the NFL world also chastised Gronkowski for the play. 

Dean Blandino, a former NFL vice president of officiating, said on Fox that he thinks Gronkowski should have been ejected for the game.

It remains to be seen what Gronkowski's punishment will be, but his hit on White is almost exactly what the NFL is trying to avoid — hits to the head on defenseless players. If White has a concussion, it may strengthen the case for Gronkowski to be suspended.

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