The Buffalo Bills might not want to discuss the hit New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski put on cornerback Tre'Davious White any longer, but on Monday, the National Football League decided on the punishment for Gronkowski.
For his actions, the Patriots tight end and Western New York-native will be suspended for one game by the NFL without pay. After an appeal to the original suspension, the NFL has chose to uphold the ban. Gronkowski will not be available to the Patriots for their Week 14 game on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins.
In a letter to Gronkowski from NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan, the NFL said the following:
"Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury. 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."
The hit by Gronkowski was described by many as one of the dirtiest of the year, as it happened well after the whistle following Tre'Davious White's interception in the fourth quarter. Since then, Gronkowski has apologized and said he lashed out because of a lingering frustration with officials for seven years of no calls on defenders holding him. Meanwhile, White remains in concussion protocol and his outlook for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts could be in doubt.
Gronk wasn't ejected for this because...Patriots pic.twitter.com/X0VTDhjcRK
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) December 3, 2017
Meeting with the media on Monday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott was a man of few words about the incident. He wouldn't say if he felt that Gronkowski should be suspended, or if the league had contacted him about the incident.
The only part he really elaborated on was some criticism, most notably of former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly on 97 Rock in Buffalo on Monday, about the lack of a response by the players to Gronkowski immediately after the play. McDermott kept saying, "that's not what I saw," about the response of his players, highlighting their "poise" during the situation.
By the end of the press conference, McDermott wanted to move on from the incident.
"With all due respect to all the questions, the more I answer questions about that situation, the more it lingers -- I'm just being honest with you -- and the more it becomes a distraction," McDermott said. "We have to focus on us and the Indianapolis Colts, and that's what we've got to do moving forward."
#Bills HC Sean McDermott was a man of few words about the Gronkowski hit. Here's everything he had to say today about the hit that left Tre'Davious White in concussion protocol: pic.twitter.com/Zrvnp7pcl9
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) December 4, 2017