One of the many storylines entering Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos is the reunion of Rob Gronkowski and T.J. Ward.
The game will mark the first time they’ve been on the same field since Ward ended Gronkowski’s 2013 season. Then a member of the Cleveland Browns, Ward cut down Gronkowski at the knee, shredding the Patriots tight end’s ACL and MCL.
Ward was asked about that play Wednesday, and while he admits it’s unfortunate how the play turned out, the safety doesn’t seem too apologetic.
“I feel bad he got hurt, you know, but that’s about it,” Ward said, according to The Boston Globe. “I’m just playing fast out there, and coincidentally, it was a bang-bang play. I think if he wouldn’t have gotten hurt, then it wouldn’t be an issue.”
Of course, Gronkowski did get hurt, and it was a pretty big issue for the Patriots. The tight end underwent season-ending injury, and New England ultimately was eliminated by Denver in the AFC Championship Game. But that’s not really Ward’s problem. He says he was just doing what he had to do to get the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski to the ground.
“Gronk’s a big dude. He gets hit, and he keeps going. Guys bounce off him, and he’s throwing guys left and right,” Ward added, according to The Globe. “I was taught that if you can take a guy’s wheels away from him, he’s no longer mobile, and that’s what you’ve got to do with big guys. I’m not going to go in there and bang heads with somebody that’s 60 pounds more than me. I’m going to hurt myself.”
Gronkowski said earlier this week that Ward never reached out to him after the hit.
Photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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