Rob Gronkowski under fire for 'dirty' hit that sent a Bills player into concussion protocol

  • The New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski on Sunday dove onto Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, hitting White in the back of the head while White was lying on the ground.
  • White was helped off the field and sent into concussion protocol.
  • Several Bills players and members of the media called Gronkowski’s hit “dirty,” while Patriots coach Bill Belichick said it was “bulls—.”

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was widely criticised around the NFL world for a late hit on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White that the Bills called “dirty.”

In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, White intercepted a pass from Tom Brady. While lying face-down on the sideline, Gronkowski came up from behind White and dove onto him, sending his forearm and shoulder into the back of White’s head.

White was helped off the field by an assistant and placed in the concussion protocol.

Here’s the hit:

After the game, Bills safety Micah Hyde said he thought Gronkowski should have been ejected.

“That’s a dirty play, man,” Hyde said. “That’s not cool. It’s amazing to me that you don’t get ejected for something like that. It’s crazy. He obviously saw him on the ground. It’s like a wrestling move. I don’t know – elbow, shoulder – I don’t know what it was. I saw on the replay it was just a dirty play, man. That’s something the NFL talks about all the time about not wanting.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he was “not happy” about the play, adding that such plays have no place in the NFL. Several other Bills players expressed similar sentiments.

While Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game that he didn’t see much of the play that it wasn’t something he could control, cameras caught him telling McDermott immediately after the game that Gronkowski’s hit was “bulls—” and apologizing.

Gronkowski also apologised after the game and said he was frustrated by the officiating.

Several others in the NFL world also chastised Gronkowski for the play.

Dean Blandino, a former NFL vice president of officiating, said on Fox that he thought Gronkowski should have been ejected.

Whether Gronkowski will be punished remains to be seen, but his hit on White is almost exactly what the NFL is trying to avoid: hits to the head on defenseless players. If White has a concussion, it may strengthen the case for Gronkowski to be suspended.

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