NFL Suspends Rob Gronkowski for Late Hit

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots will venture into their Week 14 matchup against the Miami Dolphins without their All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski after the NFL levied a one-game suspension without pay, per a press release from the league.

"When it comes to suspensions we do our very best to let the team know as early in the week as possible, " Lockhart said.

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. But NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan did not accept Gronkowski's defense. "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".

For example, they are particularly deep at running back, so Gronkowski's absence could lead to more two-running-back groupings in certain situations; they've had a couple of big plays in recent weeks with both Rex Burkhead and James White on the field at the same time.

The Patriots have gotten plenty from Gronkowski this season after he missed much of last year's campaign because of a back injury.


Gronkowski apologized to White after the game.

Bill Belichick also apologized to Bills coach Sean McDermott in their post-game exchange, calling it "a BS play". He's on his way to a fourth 1,000-yard season, with 849 through 11 contests.

The 28-year-old received the punishment for making a hit on defenseless Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre-Davious White in Sunday's 23-3 win.

"First of all, I definitely want to apologize to No. 27 (White)".

Regardless, McDermott said he was "not happy" about the play. "I don't really believe in the type of shots like that". I mean, it was a lot of frustration, and I was just really frustrated at that moment. "I'm not in the business of that". Losing Gronkowski against the Dolphins (5-7) marks a less-than-ideal blow to the Patriots (10-2), but it's one they should still be able to overcome against a team they outclassed in a 35-17 home win on November 26.

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