The New England Patriots might be without their best receiver next week when they take on the Miami Dolphins, and surprisingly, it’s not because of an injury, which has been the norm in the past.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has been injury prone throughout his career, has had injuries affect Patriots odds in the past, but this time it appears it will be a suspension that affects their odds for the Miami game.
Against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Gronkowski was flagged for a dirty play when he jumped up and dropped on the back of Bills rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White's head with an elbow, while he was laid out on the ground.
What the hell are you doing, Gronk? pic.twitter.com/mZTgJA62eU— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 3, 2017
As expected, the Bills were upset because they felt it was a dirty play and because Gronkowski didn’t get ejected from the game, which would have happened to almost every player in another uniform.
The Bills were also very upset because the game was almost over with the Patriots holding a commanding lead when Gronkowski decided to try out wrestling moves on an opponent that was laying on the ground.
After the game, the Patriots tight end apologized for his actions and attributed it to him letting his frustration get the better of him.
Despite the apology, the Buffalo Bills were angry about the dirty play and the fact that Gronkowski wasn’t even ejected from the game.
Dean Blandino, the NFL’s former head of officiating, was also surprised Gronkowski didn’t get ejected from the game, especially after the fiasco in Denver last week between Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree, who got suspended for two games after their scuffle last week.
Blandino said he expected Gronkowski to be ejected after seeing the play, and added that he would not be surprised if the league reviewed the play during the week and hand Gronkowski a hefty fine and suspend him from the Patriots game against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night.
Despite Blandino’s optimism that the league will do the right thing, several Bills players aren’t so confident. Some players believe since Gronkowski plays for the Patriots and is one of the most marketable players in the NFL, the league will likely fine him for his actions, but won’t suspend him.
Gronkowski is known for his party boy image and is one of the most popular players in the NFL, so the league will give him a slap on the wrist, especially since he hardly ever crosses the line.
With the league dealing with other issues right now, like the Roger Goodell salary situation, Jerry Jones being on the war path, players kneeling, and fans threatening to boycott the league, Gronkowski’s antics are the least of the league’s problem.
However, if they fail to suspend him, there will be some backlash from players who will likely claim the league was once again showing bias for the New England Patriots.
Lost in all the controversy is the fact that the Patriots won their eighth consecutive game, their 14th consecutive road game, which is the second longest in league history, and improved to 30-5 against the Bills since Bill Belichick became the coach of the Patriots.
Tom Brady also improved to 27-3 against the Bills, giving him the record for most wins against any team by a quarterback.