FOXBORO, Mass. — The Legion of Boom lowered itself onto Rob Gronkowski on Sunday.
The 6-foot-6 New England Patriots tight end, who’s known for imposing his will on opposing defenders, was on the receiving end of a whopper of a hit by Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
Thomas walloped Gronkowski after the latter failed to haul in a pass from quarterback Tom Brady, dizzying the Patriots pass catcher and forcing him to briefly leave the game.
“That was a big hit, for sure,” Gronkowski said after the game, which Seattle won 31-24. “Probably one of the hardest I’ve been hit in my career, for sure. (It was) by a good player — a good, fast player who’s like a missile.
“It was a good, clean hit. Nothing against it. I just took it, and it just knocked the wind out of me a little bit, that’s all. If you’ve ever gotten the wind knocked out of you, you know what that feels like. Just down for about a minute or two, it’s a little tough to breathe, but once it comes back, you’re good.”
Gronkowksi was examined by team trainers and watched four snaps from the sideline before returning to the field. He credited Thomas for delivering a hard, clean hit and said he had no ill will toward the Seahawks defensive back.
“I have no problem with it,” Gronkowski said. “He hit me fair and square. It’s football. You’re going to get laid out eventually.”
Gronkowski was targeted six times in the loss. He caught three passes for 56 yards, including a 26-yard pickup during the Patriots’ final possession.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images