New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski deserved suspension, but NFL to blame

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronknowsi was handed a 1-game suspension by the NFL for a late hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White.

Late hits on defenseless players is not cool in the NFL and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is paying the price for his late hit on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White in Sunday’s 23-3 victory.

On Monday, the league hit the big tight end with a one-game suspension.  While Gronkowski deserves the suspension for the hit, the frustration that resulted in his reaction can only be blamed on the NFL.

Still, the Patriots tight end apologized to White following the game.  No matter how frustrated he is with how NFL referees have called plays and not called plays against him was no excuse for driving down onto a player lying face down out of bounds.  That was the reasoning behind the suspension.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote the following:

"“Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury.  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.”"

While there is no defending Rob Gronkowski’s late hit, anyone watching New England Patriots games on a weekly basis cannot be surprised by the amount of frustration he showed.  That one play, in which White held and pushed Gronkowski while running down the field, is the epitome of the abuse the big tight end takes.

When frustration runs wild

Much of that, of course, is due to his talent and mammoth size, but that should not be a reason to adjust rules on plays he is involved in.  Gronkowksi summed it all up on Sunday following the game.

"“I just don’t understand why there wasn’t a flag.”  Gronkowski said, via ESPN.  “It was a couple times in the game, and they’re calling me for the craziest stuff ever.  And it’s crazy, like, what am I supposed to do?  And then they don’t call that [on White].  It was just frustration, and that’s what happened.”"

Now that he has to sit out a game (pending an appeal), Rob Gronkowski now has to focus on how to take out his frustration with his stats on the football field and not by doing WWE moves on defenseless cornerbacks.

Frustration understood.  Reaction unnecessary.

More from Chowder and Champions

Tom Brady has Gronk’s back

If anyone knows about suspensions, it is Tom Brady.  Following the announcement of the one-game suspension, the quarterback offered his support of Rob Gronkowski during his appearance on Westwood One prior to Monday Night Football.

"“It’s an emotional game and the emotions got the best of Rob,” Brady said, via WEEI.  “I’m disappointed that he won’t be out there with us Monday night.  I think he’s appealing it, but we’ll see how that goes.  I support Rob.  I love Rob.  He’s been such a great supporter of mine.  He knows I’m always here for him.”"

Unlike previous seasons, Brady will have other weapons to rely on if Gronkowski is unavailable Monday night.  This couple be similar to the game the New England Patriots played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without Gronkowski.

Next: New England Patriots: 5 things we love about Rob Gronkowski

In that game, the team turned to their running game led by Dion Lewis and both James White and Danny Amendola in the passing game.  Against an offense like Miami, the Patriots may not have to score a bunch of points to get the job done against the Dolphins.