New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski suspended one game for late hit

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been suspended one game because of a late hit delivered Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

The New England Patriots will be without star tight end Rob Gronkowski for their Week 14 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski has been suspended one game for his late hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White during Sunday’s game versus Buffalo. The suspension comes as the first of Gronkowski’s career and he does plan to appeal it.

The incident occurred late in the fourth quarter after White intercepted a pass from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Following the pick, Gronkowski slammed his elbow into the back of White’s helmet. White was later evaluated for a head injury.

Gronkowski apologized to White post game, telling reporters:

"“I’m not in the business of that. There was a lot of frustration. I was just really frustrated at that moment.”"

He continued, criticizing how the play was officiated.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick apologized to Bills head coach Sean McDermott, calling the hit “bulls**t.” When asked by reporters what he thought of the incident, Belichick replied:

New England will be without their top tight end for the second time this season. Gronkowski missed the Patriots’ Week 5 game against the Buccaneers with a thigh injury.

In eleven games this season, Gronkowski has amassed a team-high 55 receptions and seven touchdowns, along with 849 receiving yards.

With Gronkowski suspended and Martellus Bennett on injured reserve, Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister are the only tight ends on the Patriots’ active roster.

Next: Patriots player grades from Week 13 vs. Bills

Whether or not New England adds a tight end before next Monday’s game, Gronkowski, who caught two touchdowns against Miami in Week 12, will surely be missed.