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.
Gronkowski, who will be eligible to return to the active roster following the team's December 11 Monday night game against the Miami Dolphins, also apologized after the game.
ESPN's Adam Schefter said Gronkowski will appeal the suspension.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick apologized to Bills coach Sean McDermott for the hit when the two shook hands on the field after the game. But NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan did not accept Gronkowski's defense.
"Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury". White was treated in the concussion protocol after the game. He's on his way to a fourth 1,000-yard season, with 849 through 11 contests. Gronkowski was called for unnecessary roughness, but not kicked out of the game. "So I would say on this one if there is some news from the league office we would try to get it to you by close of business today".
Gronkowski said his frustration boiled over because of an earlier interference call on him while running a pass route, and the feeling that because of his size, he is often flagged for interference whenever he bumps another player on a pass route or a player deliberately holds on to him. "I don't believe in taking shots like that". "It was a lot of frustration and I was just really frustrated at that moment".
"I kind of felt like he pushed me a little bit and made the play, and I just don't understand why there wasn't a flag", Gronkowski said of the play. It was a couple times in the game, and they're calling me for the craziest stuff ever. It's like insane. Like, what am I supposed to do? And then they don't call that [on White]. "But, just through the frustration process, game of football emotions, just what happened".