DENVER — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t blaming Darian Stewart for causing Rob Gronkowski’s knee injury Sunday night.
The Denver Broncos safety went low to take down Gronkowski, who writhed in pain and had to be carted off the field after having his right knee bend the wrong way as he fell to the turf. Early reports indicate Gronkowski’s injury “doesn’t appear to be serious,” which obviously is a relief for the Patriots.
Brady was asked after the Patriots’ 30-24 loss to the Broncos about opponents going low on his star tight end.
“I hate to see it, but it really is the only way defenders can hit now,” Brady said. “I bet, if you asked players, they would really rather go high than low. I don’t think it’s dirty, I just think that is how football is played now.”
The NFL understandably is attempting to prevent concussions by dissuading players from hitting high, throwing flags for personal fouls. That forces defenders to go low, potentially causing serious knee injuries.
Gronkowski has said in the past that he would rather suffer a concussion than a torn ACL. It’s a short-sighted way of thinking, but it also shows how difficult it is for the NFL to convince players that long-term health is more important than a lost season.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12), tackle Sebastian Vollmer (76), and tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports