The NFL suspended New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski one game Monday for violating the league's unnecessary roughness rules after his late hit on Buffalo Bills' cornerback Tre’Davious White, according to vice president of football communications Michael Signora.
Michael Signora @NFLfootballinfo
Rob Gronkowski has been suspended for 1 game for violation of unnecessary roughness rules https://t.co/ySlimskMdh2017-12-4 20:18:40
Gronkowski will miss the team's Monday night game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 14. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe broke down the financial implications of the suspension:
Ben Volin @BenVolin
A 1 game suspension will cost Gronk a $250k game check, a $31,250 game-day roster bonus, and will make it that much tougher to reach his $5.5 million incentive level (90 percent of snaps, OR 80 catches, OR 1,200 yards, OR 14 touchdowns)2017-12-4 20:26:25
Gronkowski plans to appeal the suspension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The play in question occurred in the fourth quarter, after Gronkowski reportedly was upset that White wasn't called for defensive holding or pass interference prior to an interception. While White was on the ground, Gronk dove toward his head, striking the back of White's helmet and neck with his shoulder.
Gronkowski was flagged for unnecessary roughness after the hit, while White was taken out of the game and put into the concussion protocol.
"I want to apologize to No. 27," Gronkowski said after the game, per Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports. "I'm not in the business of that. I mean, there was a lot of frustration and I was just really frustrated at that moment and it just happened naturally through emotions... I just want to apologize to White."
White's teammates were understandably angry after the game.
"That's a dirty play, man," cornerback Micah Hyde said, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. "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."
"Unnecessary. Unnecessary anywhere in this league," safety Jordan Poyer added, according to Zack Cox of NESN. "Tre made a great play. Obviously, Gronk was frustrated. (There's) nowhere in this league for that type of play. I understand flames are going, heat of the battle, but there is no room in this league for that type of crap."