As was expected, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been suspended for his actions on Sunday.
The New England Patriots had no real trouble with the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, winning 23-3 as tight end Rob Gronkowski had a typical good game (nine catches for 147 yards). But a blatant, excessive and dangerous cheap shot on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White after a fourth quarter interception drew rightful ire, and made a suspension a formality.
It is now official, as Gronkowski has been suspended one game for violating the NFL’s player-safety policy /unneccessary roughness rules. So he’ll miss Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins, unless a surprising appeal comes to delay it. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported an appeal is indeed coming.
Gronkowski expressed remorse over his actions after the game, while also citing frustration with how he’s officiated. As if the latter point was White’s fault, and made it alright to launch himself at a player who had given himself up on the ground at the end of a play.
Dwayne Allen will move up a spot on the depth chart in Gronkowski’s absence. It took him eight games to make his first catch as a Patriot, and he’s got five receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown on the season. So Gronk’s fantasy owners would be advised to look elsewhere for a Week 14 replacement.
The one-game ban also carries significant financial implications for Gronkowski, beyond the loss of a game check.
Gronkowski has 55 receptions for 849 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games this season. He missed Week 5 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a thigh injury, which has already put him behind the eight-ball to have the statistics he needs to activate his $5.5 million incentive bonus.
With a missed game coming this week, 25 catches or 351 yards or seven touchdowns will be a very hard bargain over the final three games. The first two totals would be realistic over four games, but that’s not an option now. Still, it seems perfect that Gronkowski has cost himself substantial money by being overtly reckless on the field.