Rob Gronkowski with one game suspension

The NFL has suspended New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski one game for a late, gratuitous hit to the head of Buffalo defensive back Tre’Davious White.

White was lying face down on the sideline after intercepting a pass Sunday when the 265lbs Gronkowski body-slammed him, driving his forearm into White’s back and head. Gronkowski was called for unnecessary roughness, but because of retaliation from the Bills there was no penalty assessed. White was later evaluated for concussion, a particular concern given the issues around brain trauma suffered by NFL players.

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This was a deserved suspension, and he’s very lucky that it’s just a one-game suspension. Gronkowski apologized for the play after the game and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick condemned his player for his actions too.

Rob Gronkowski will make his case to the NFL against his one-game suspension following his late hit on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, the Patriots tight end will appealing his one game suspension on Tuesday. Volin notes that former Buccaneers linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks will serve as Gronkowski’s appeal officer and that appeal will be done over the phone.

The 28-year-old apologized after the game and told reporters that his frustrations boiled over from officials not calling infractions being done to him specifically on that play where White held him at the top of the route and, he says, pushed him prior to making the interception.

If his one game suspension stands, Gronk will miss out on New England’s Monday Night Football matchup with the Dolphins down in Miami. Given the impact that Gronk has in this Patriots offense, Brady knows that his team will have to get creative and others will need to step up.

“We’ll try to put together the best plan we can and we’ll see how well it goes,” Brady told Westwood One’s Jim Gray about possibly playing without Gronkowski in Week 14. “Other guys are going to have to step in and do that spot. We’re going to have to do that well. It’s going to be tough game anyway and we’re going to do the best we can do.”

On the year Gronk has totaled 55 receptions, 849 yards and seven touchdowns through Week 13.

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