UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Reaction to the Rob Gronkowski Suspension

In the final minutes of the New England Patriots’ win over the Buffalo Bills, Rob Gronkowski let his anger take over, ultimately resulting in a one-game suspension.

With about four minutes and change left on the clock, Tom Brady was attempting to give Gronkowski the ball, but the play was well defended as Tre’Davious White of the Bills intercepted the pass. Following the end of the play, after the whistle was clearly blown, White was lying face down out of bounds. Gronkowski made the foolish decision to jump on his back, putting his forearm directly into the back of White’s head. White remained on the ground for a few minutes after this took place. He then was placed in concussion protocol.

This is Gronkowski’s eighth season in the league and has never shown any sign of being a dirty player. He has no prior incidents. In his eight years, he has always been one of the biggest players on the field, which comes with pros and cons. Of course, being such a freak of an athlete has led to him putting up great numbers and dominating each and every game.

However, with that said, when he goes up against smaller defenders, it appears that referees allow much more leeway than they normally would. With Gronkowski being so big and dominant, they are more reluctant to throw flags because they expect him to deal with the contact in most cases.

In this game, toward the end of the second half, Gronkowski was flagged for an offensive pass interference when it seemed as if he had done nothing. Throughout the game, he was getting held but no flags were being thrown. It was obvious that he was growing frustrated with both the refs and the defensive backs.

No, that is by no means any excuse for anyone to lay a dirty hit like he did, but I think most of us can understand why he reacted. As a first-time offender after eight seasons, I think that the one-game suspension is definitely fair.

Although the Patriots will have a tougher time on Monday Night Football against the Miami Dolphins without their star tight end, I think this suspension might actually help them in the long run.

As I have stated all through the season and even in previous articles, the key to success this year is health. The Pats have struggled with injuries and need to keep everyone through the playoffs, even if it means possibly dropping a regular season game.

The most important game left on the schedule is against the Pittsburgh Steelers because not only are they the most talented team remaining, but the game could also decide playoff seeding (1 seed vs 2 seed).

Gronkowski on two weeks of rest for the Steelers will be great for this explosive offense. Throughout his career, he’s had his way with Mike Tomlin’s team. With extra time to prepare for the big game, I wouldn’t expect anything different from Gronkowski this time around.