Rob Gronkowski: New England Patriots TE suspended, will appeal

By Alex Butler  |  Dec. 4, 2017 at 4:01 PM
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Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski in Week 14, after he was suspended for one game by the NFL.

Gronkowski received the punishment for a hit he had Sunday in the Patriots' 23-9 win against the Buffalo Bills.

He was lined up during a fourth-quarter Patriots drive. Quarterback Tom Brady threw the ball deep to his right. Gronkowski fought for the ball, but was beaten by Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White, who intercepted the pass.

White was on the ground and out of bounds after making the play. Gronkowski then ran up behind the defender and threw his body onto him, forcing White to leave the game and enter the concussion protocol.

Gronkowski apologized for the hit after the game. The suspension is without pay and can be appealed within three business days. A source told NFL.com that Gronkowski will appeal the decision.

Jon Runyan, NFL vice president of football operations, also wrote a letter to the Pro Bowl tight end.

"Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury," Runyan wrote. "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."

Gronkowski will be eligible to return to the Patriots' active roster on Dec. 12. The Patriots face the Miami Dolphins at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 11 on Monday Night Football at Hard Rock Stadium.

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