Former NFL official says refs are ‘aware’ of Bills’ talk about Rob Gronkowski
The Buffalo Bills may have thoughts of exacting revenge upon Rob Gronkowski for his cheap shot on cornerback Tre’Davious White earlier this season. But according to a former NFL official, the Bills would be well-advised to avoid engaging in such antics in Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
The incident in question occurred during the Patriots’ 23-3 victory over the Bills on Dec. 3. Gronkowski busted out a quasi-pro-wrestling move on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White following an interception.
What the hell are you doing, Gronk? pic.twitter.com/mZTgJA62eU
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 3, 2017
Gronkowski was suspended for one game by the NFL for his dirty hit, later attributing his conduct to frustration, saying it was due to “the game of football, emotions — it’s just what happened.”
White, who was placed in concussion protocol due to the hit, was among the Bills players who ripped Gronkowski. White labeled Gronkowski a “dirty player” and issued a not-so-veiled threat.
“Once we get back to that week where we play (the Patriots), we’ll see what happens,” White said.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott has attempted to downplay any notion of the team will go after Gronkowski. That would be the smart approach, according to former NFL official Jim Daopoulos, now a rules analyst for ESPN. He believes the officials set to work the game are well aware of what Bills players have said about Gronkowski heading into Sunday’s showdown.
“I can tell you, the officials are aware of what the Bills have said. But they will not address it,” Daopoulos told The Boston Herald. “They won’t make a big deal out of it. They won’t talk to the Patriots. They won’t talk to the Bills about it. But they will be more aware of any action on Gronkowski.
“Not that they’re going to be looking for something. But they’re aware the Bills have made that statement. They’ll tighten up a little bit on it. But they don’t want to go in with any kind of preconceived notion that something’s going to happen. They’re going to work the game like they always work it, but they’ll make sure the players, all the players are protected at all times.”