Rob Gronkowski has been given a one-game suspension for unnecessary roughness, the NFL announced Monday.
Gronkowski, whom Adam Schefter reports will appeal the suspension, is set to miss Week 14 against the Dolphins. The punishment comes as a result of a late hit from Gronkowski on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White in the second half of New England’s win over Buffalo Sunday.
Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6 of the NFL rulebook forbids “forcibly contacting a runner when he is out of bounds.” White was out of bounds following an interception of Tom Brady when Gronkowski jumped on him late.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan wrote the following to Gronkowski in addressing the suspension:
“Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury. The Competition Committee has expressed its goal of ‘elimination flagrant hits that have no place in our game.’ Those hits include the play you are involved in yesterday.”
Assuming his suspension stands, Gronkowski will be eligible to return to the Pats on Tuesday, Dec. 12. He will lose $281,250 in salary as a result of the punishment.
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The Patriots final injury report before their showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday includes 10 players listed as questionable and defensive lineman Alan Branch ruled out.
Branch, who hurt his knee in the Monday night loss to the Dolphins, missed three days of practice this week. Among the questionable are linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive lineman Trey Flowers, who didn't play against Miami. Tom Brady (Achilles), Brandon Cooks (hand) and Malcolm Butler (ankle) have been removed from the injury report.
Cornerback Joe Haden (fibula) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) among the Steelers listed as questionable. The full injury report: