New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been suspended one game for his late, out-of-bounds hit Sunday on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White, the NFL announced Monday.
Gronkowski plans to appeal the ruling, according to multiple reports. If he does not win, he would sit out the Patriots' game at the Miami Dolphins this week.
While White was down on the sideline after a play, Gronkowski launched his shoulder into the back of the cornerback's neck. Gronkowski was given an unncessary roughness penalty— one of four infractions on the day for the tight end — but was not ejected. He finished the Patriots' 23-3 win with a season-high nine catches and 147 yards.
After the game, Gronkowski apologized and attributed his action to frustration.
"I'm not in the business of that," he said. "There was a lot of frustration, and I was just really frustrated at that moment. It just happened naturally through emotions, frustration. Just want to apologize to Tre'Davious White. I don't really believe in the type of shots like that."
He added that he believed White should have been flagged for holding earlier on the play.
"I just don't understand why there wasn't a flag," he continued. "And there was a couple of times in the game. And they are calling me for the craziest stuff ever. It's like crazy. Like, what am I supposed to do? And then they don't call that? It was just frustration. That's what happened."
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Gronkowski outlining the infraction.
"Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury," Runyan wrote. "The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of 'eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game.' Those hits include the play you were involved in yesterday."
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