Rob Gronkowski entered the NFL in 2010, he was a second-round draft choice that the Patriots have never regretted. This will mark the first time since his arrival that Gronk has been suspended by the NFL.
Normally, it would be an exaggeration to suggest that the Patriots might be in trouble without him, but New England has lost a lot of talent to injuries already. So a discussion about the Patriots Odds without Gronkowski isn’t without merit.
New England played the Bills on Sunday, the game ended 23-3 in favor of Patriots. Gronk’s problems arose when he delivered a hit on a defenseless Bills cornerback (Tre’Davious White).
The Competition Committee said they were still working hard to eliminate flagrant hits that made the game of football unnecessarily dangerous. As such, they could not allow Gronk to get away with his actions.
White was face down on the ground after a play when Gronk made contact with his neck area using his elbow. For such a hit against a defenseless player, he was suspended for one game without pay. However, he wasn’t ejected from the game.
Gronkowski told reporters that he had apologized to White who had been covering him shortly before the incident happened. Gronk admitted that he hadn’t been in the best of moods at the time. An earlier penalty left him feeling upset and frustrated.
Gronk was still clearly upset about not seeing a penalty during his interaction with reporters after the game. He did not understand why there had been no flag. He also didn’t think his actions were the craziest thing to happen in the Bills game, this despite the fact that it was all anyone would talk about at the time.
The athlete had an opportunity to converse with referee Gene Steratore and line judge Gary Arthur at the end of the game. It is difficult to tell whether or not they allayed his concerns about the four penalties for which he was called in Sunday’s game.
The Competition Committee clearly did not accept the athlete’s frustration as a viable excuse for his actions. And Gronk has said that he will appeal the decision.
The tight end has been called for nearly two dozen penalties since he came to the NFL in 2010. Most of the penalties have involved offensive holding or offensive pass interference. And Gronk seems to lead the NFL in penalties in those areas, only eclipsed by Jermaine Gresham and his 29 penalties.
It has been suggested that if Gronk’s offense was serious enough for him to be suspended, then he should have been ejected from the Bills’ game as well. But this has happened before.
During an earlier November game between Tampa Bay and New Orleans, Mike Evans was penalized for a blindside hit on Marshon Lattimore. That particular incident led to a sideline scuffle, Evans was eventually suspended for one game as a result but was not ejected from the game.
No one will be talking about Gronk’s suspension in a few days. But they will definitely delve into the potential defeat New England stands to experience because of Gronk’s absence.