Rob Gronkowski (87) before impact
Rob Gronkowski (87) before impact
NEW YORK – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots was suspended without pay for one game for a violation of unnecessary roughness rules in Sunday’s NFL game against the Buffalo Bills.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyon issued the suspension for multiple violations of NFL rules, including Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6 which prohibits “unnecessary roughness” and specifically bans both “forcibly contacting a runner when he is out of bounds,” and “running, diving into…or throwing the body against or on a player who (1) is out of the play or (2) should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead,” as well as Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 which prohibits “initiating unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture”. Players who are “on the ground” are both “defenseless” and protected from “forcible” hits to the “head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder.”
In his communication to Gronkowski, Runyan wrote:
“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 yesterday.”
Gronkowski will be eligible to return to the Patriots’ active roster on Tuesday, December 12 following the team’s December 11th, Monday night game against the Miami Dolphins.
Under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days.
BOSTON – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski says there is “no doubt” he will be ready for the start of the 2017 season despite undergoing the third back surgery of his career. “Yes, for sure,” Gronkowski told Cari Champion on ESPN when asked if he expects to play in Week 1. “No doubt.”
Gronkowski, who underwent season-ending back surgery in December, played only eight games during the 2016 season after missing time earlier in the season with a hamstring injury and bruised lung. Gronkowski’s injury history has put his future in question, with the 27-year-old Pro Bowler undergoing eight surgeries as an NFL player.
“I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I can possibly play. My mindset is to keep on going,” Gronkowski said.
Gronkowski finished the 2016 season with 25 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns but had to watch from the sideline as his teammates rallied from a historic 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl LI.
Tom Brady threw for a Super Bowl-record 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception to win his fifth championship ring and record fourth Super Bowl MVP Award.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended Brady for four games to open the 2016 season over the Deflategate scandal, presented the Lombardi Trophy to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“It was great to see him hand over that trophy, for sure,” Gronkowski said of Goodell. “I was super happy for Tom.”
Gronkowski was asked whether Goodell could come back to Foxborough anytime soon.
“To tell you the truth? I really don’t think so,” Gronkowski told ESPN. “The fans are nuts. They are wild. They have the Patriots’ back no matter what. They have Tom’s back, I’m telling you. (Goodell) won’t get through the highway if the fans saw him. I don’t even think he can land in the airport in Boston, because Patriots fans are the best fans. They’re the most loyal fans.
“I’m telling you, they might just carry out Roger themselves. They couldn’t even get to the stadium in Foxborough, if he landed in Boston.”
Kraft said before the Super Bowl that he would invite Goodell for the Patriots’ 2017 season opener if they won another title.
Goodell hasn’t attended a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium since January 2015 when New England defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game that started the Deflategate saga
BOSTON – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Thousands of Patriots fans packed the streets of Boston on a cold, snowy Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and New England’s fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy during the team’s championship parade. Riding in the city’s signature duck boats, the Patriots slowly made their way down Boylston Street in downtown Boston before making a left turn onto Tremont Street on the way to Boston City Hall.
As the procession reached Copley Square, fans chanted “Brady!” as the smiling quarterback pumped his fist in the air. Once the celebration reached Tremont Street, Brady caught a football from WBZ-TV sports anchor Steve Burton and tossed back a perfect spiral as fans chanted “MVP!”
“One more!,” Brady screamed during a post-parade rally at City Hall. “I told you we were going to bring this sucker (the trophy) home and we brought it home.
Thank you guys. We do it for you. You do it for us. Let’s go! Let’s go!”
Brady added, “These aren’t easy to do, but this team gave everything it had and it took — damn, that game was hard. That game was real hard, but you know what we’re going to remember this moment for the rest of our lives.”
Brady threw for a Super Bowl-record 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as New England overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime on Sunday night.
“There’s been a lot of talk over the last couple weeks about goats,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said, referring to the acronym for the phrase “greatest of all time” (G.O.A.T.). “And you all know we have the G.O.A.T. when it comes to players in Tom Brady. We have the G.O.A.T. when it comes to coaches in Bill Belichick.
“And I (want) you to know that my family and our organization feel that we have the G.O.A.T. of fans on the planet.”
Belichick led fans in chants of “No days off!” and ended his brief address to the crowd by screaming “Let’s go Pats!”
“These players, they work harder than any team I’ve ever coached,” Belichick said. “They came to work everyday and there were no days off!”
Massachusetts governer Charlie Baker, a Republican, was meet with a smattering of boos as he addressed the crowd, but the boos turned into cheers when Baker officially declared Feb. 7 as “New England Patriots Day.”
Kraft said he was inspired by the impact the Patriots’ success has had on the region.
“I’m happy, I think this team is a rallying point for a lot of people,” Kraft told NBC Boston before the parade began.
Kraft spoke about a young electrician who told him before the parade that he suffered from depression and has identified with the Patriots.
“What we’ve done over the last two, three years has made a difference in his life, and that makes me feel good,” Kraft said.
Before the parade, injured Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was pictured holding a customized WWE championship belt with Patriots logos on it. Video later showed Gronkowski catching a can of beer that was thrown to him while riding on a duck boat.
After missing the Patriots’ final eight games with a, Gronkowski said he didn’t plan to ride on the duck boat in the parade but was convinced by the fans, saying “I party for the fans.”
Another popular chant from fans was “Roger That!”, a nod to the strained relationship between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Brady. Goodell suspended Brady four games for his role in the Deflategate scandal.
On Monday, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was photographed wearing a shirt with a red clown nose on Roger Goodell’s face as he exited the team plane on the tarmac.
New England 26, Los Angeles 10
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 4, 2016
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
FOXBOROUGH – (Wire Service Report-Sports Xchange for Digital Sports Desk) – Tom Brady became the winningest quarterback in NFL history and the New England Patriots improved to 10-2 with a 26-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Playing the rest of the season without Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots held the Rams to 25 yards of offense in the first half — the fewest number of yards ever allowed by New England in a half. The Patriots, winners of seven of their last eight, built a 17-0 lead and sent the Rams (4-8) to their third straight loss, the seventh loss in their last eight games.
Brady, who threw one touchdown pass, posted the 201st victory counting the postseason in his pro career, breaking the tie he created with Peyton Manning last week. He also picked up his 179th regular-season win, leaving him one shy of Manning and Brett Favre (186 each) as the only quarterbacks with 180 victories.
LeGarrette Blount, who turns 30 Monday, romped 43 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-1 on New England’s first possession. Brady hit Chris Hogan with a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and Stephen Gostkowski kicked field goals of 28, 48, 45 and 45 yards again.
The Rams actually moved the ball on their second possession of the fourth quarter but settled for a 44-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to cut the Patriots lead to 17-3.
Blount, who ran for 88 yards on 18 carries, scored his 13th rushing touchdown of the season, one shy of matching Curtis Martin’s club record (1995 and ’96).
Brady, playing on a sore knee, finished 33 of 49 for 269 yards. Rookie Malcolm Mitchell and Julian Edelman caught eight passes apiece.
Rookie Jared Goff, who is 201 wins behind Brady, fell to 0-3 but could have had better numbers had it not been for several drops, three of them by top receiver Kenny Britt. On another drop, by Lance Kendricks, the ball popped into the air into a Malcolm Butler interception.
The Patriots were bidding to hold an opponent below 100 yards for the fourth time in team history. The Rams had 96 yards until Goff hit Britt with a 66-yard bomb on fourth-and-11 on the first play after the two-minute warning. Goff connected with Britt on a 1-yard touchdown pass with 1:15 left.
Goff finished 14 of 32 for 161 yards and two interceptions and was sacked four times.
New England’s Danny Amendola, who caught three passes for 30 yards, hobbled off the field after getting hit returning a fourth-quarter punt, going to the locker room with an ankle injury.
NOTES: The Rams reportedly signed contract extensions with coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead, deals done months ago but not announced. Fisher’s is for two years and Snead’s, according to reports, beyond next season. Former Rams great Eric Dickerson has called for firing Fisher, who is two losses shy of becoming the NFL’s all-time losingest coach. He is 31-44-1 in five years with the Rams and is in his seventh straight season without a playoff appearance. His teams haven’t won a playoff game since 2003. … The Rams were missing WR Tavon Austin (44 catches, three touchdowns) because of a chest injury. The Patriots were without key special teamers Matthew Slater (foot) and Jordan Richards (knee). … The Patriots honored the 2001 championship team commemorating the first of the four New England titles. That team upset the St. Louis Rams. … The Rams host the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday and the Patriots are home for Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.