Hopefully, Rob Gronkowski doesn’t make a federal case of this.
The New England Patriots’ star tight end lost his appeal of a one-game suspension, the league announced on Tuesday.
Appeals officer Derrick Brooks has upheld 1-game suspension of Rob Gronkowski.
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) December 5, 2017
Gronkowski was punished – rightfully – for leveling a dangerous cheap shot to the head of Buffalo Bills rookie Tre’Davious White in a fit of frustration after a Tom Brady interception. The hit was widely condemned, even by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
He’ll miss Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins, a game the Patriots might need to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the race for the top seed in the AFC playoffs.
Gronkowski might have gotten off lightly considering the suspension the league issued Tuesday to the Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster and the Cincinnati Bengals’ George Iloka. Each of those players were punished for illegal hits from Monday night, one a head shot from Iloka to wideout Antonio Brown, and Smith-Schuster for a blindsided block (and taunting) of Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Gronkowski’s hit could’ve been deemed more egregious of the three considering his came after the play ended. At least one Steeler says so. Here’s Steeler Mike Mitchell via Twitter:
So gronk elbow drops a guy off the top rope like Dusty Rhodes and gets same suspension as a guy getting a penalty making a football play. Okay cool @NFL @espn @ESPNNFL can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
— Mike Mitchell (@iammikemitchell) December 5, 2017