Buffalo Bills rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White shook nervously in anger at his locker Thursday while accusing Patriots Rob Gronkowski of being a dirty player for blindsiding him in the back of the head.
As for the NFL issuing Gronkowski a one-game suspension for the hit last Sunday, White turned away from the television cameras and muttered: “It’s a joke, dog.” White then turned back toward the cameras and said he didn’t know what to say.
“He is what he did. A dirty shot. So what’s that make him? A dirty player. Simple,” White said.
“I’m laying there. He snuck me. My back turned. He could’ve broken my neck,” he added. “I’ve got a son to raise, and all of that. People don’t think of that when they just react.”
White made his first comments since being hit by Gronkowski with 4:50 left in Buffalo’s 23-3 loss to the Patriots. White lay near the New England sideline after intercepting a Tom Brady pass.
White had already been touched by a Patriots player when Gronkowski led with his forearm and struck White in the back of the helmet. Gronkowski was penalized for unnecessary roughness, then issued a one-game suspension by the NFL a day later.
Listed at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, Gronkowski used his full force in landing on White, who is 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds.
White was dazed and immediately evaluated for a concussion. He was cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol on Thursday, putting him in a position to play Sunday when Buffalo (6-6) hosts Indianapolis (3-9).
“Yeah, I’m (ticked) off about it. I’m definitely (ticked) off,” White said.
“I’m glad I had my mouthpiece in,” White said. “I probably could’ve bit my tongue off. I bit my lip pretty bad. Terrible headache. It is what it is.”
— Heather Prusak (@haprusak) December 7, 2017
Gronkowski, who said he hit White out of frustration for what he believed should have been defensive pass interference on the play, apologized to White when speaking to reporters after the game. White said he has not personally heard from Gronkowski since the hit.
When asked Thursday if Gronkowski’s apology means anything to him, White responded, “No.”
“His intentions were to hurt me,” White said. “It is what it is. But that’s [what happens] when you ball and they don’t like that.”
The Patriots and Bills meet again this season Dec. 24 at Gillette Stadium. White said he will have nothing to say before the game to Gronkowski, whom the NFL suspended for Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m focused on the Colts [this Sunday],” he said. “Once we get back to that week where we play [the Patriots], we’ll see what happens.”