New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was suspended without pay for one game for a late hit on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White on Sunday.
With four minutes left in the game and the Patriots leading by 23-3, Gronkowski and White tangled as Brady threw a pass in their direction. White came up with the interception, and after he landed on the ground, Gronkowski dove on top of him, driving a forearm into White’s neck.
The Patriots were penalized for 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, but Gronkowski, one of the Patriots’ and league’s biggest stars, was not ejected. White was helped to the locker room and placed in the concussion protocol.
In a letter to Gronkowski, the N.F.L. said, “Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury.”
After the game, Gronkowski expressed remorse.
“I definitely want to apologize to No. 27,” Gronkowski told reporters. “I’m not in the business of that. I mean it was a lot of frustration. I was just really frustrated at that moment. It just happened naturally through emotions and frustration. I just want to apologize to Tre’Davious White. I don’t really believe in the types of shots like that. But just the frustration process, the game of football, emotions; it’s just what happened.”