Rob Gronkowski Apologizes for Cheap Shot vs. Bills, Criticizes Officiating

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2017

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer (21) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)
Rich Barnes/Associated Press

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski turned heads with a dirty play in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 23-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field.

Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White intercepted a pass and was on the ground when Gronkowski launched himself into the back of White's head after the play.

According to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, Gronkowski apologized after the contest for his actions but granted he was "frustrated by the lack of calls he gets and the calls he's called for."

Jonah Javad of WGRZ shared video of Gronkowski's comments:

Raul Martinez of NBC Boston reacted to the play, acknowledging that Gronkowski's retaliation was over the top but still pointing out the tight end had a valid gripe about the officiating:

Part of what makes Gronkowski so difficult to stop for defensive backs is the physicality he brings to the table at 6'6" and 265 pounds. Much like defenders often couldn't stop Shaquille O'Neal on the basketball court without resorting to fouls, many safeties and cornerbacks don't have much of a chance to stop Gronkowski without getting physical themselves.

The frustration clearly boiled over for Gronkowski on Sunday, but he still managed nine receptions for 147 yards in New England's blowout win.

There has been no official word from the NFL regarding a potential fine or punishment for Gronkowski's play Sunday, but he was not ejected from the contest in the immediate aftermath.

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