It sounds like Rob Gronkowski should have his head on a swivel when the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills meet again next Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Gronkowski delivered a cheap shot to the back of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White’s head that left White in concussion protocol and earned the big tight end a one-game suspension that was upheld on appeal.
No Bills player accosted Gronkowski in the immediate aftermath of the hit, but according to a text White sent to former NFL safety and fellow LSU product Ryan Clark, the team has retribution on its mind.
“(White) said the whole hood want ’em, you know what I mean?” Clark said Tuesday on “The Russillo Show” on ESPN Radio. “The whole hood want Gronk, for sure. I mean, that’s the exact text: ‘The whole hood want ’em.’ ”
Asked for a translation, Clark replied: “They want to put them hands on him,” referring to the Bills.
Clark, who played against Gronkowski three times a Pittsburgh Steeler, argued that White’s teammates let him down by not coming to his defense in the moment.
“I thought they should have jumped (Gronkowski),” he said. “That was my initial thought, that (White’s) teammates should have came to his defense. And obviously, you can’t just throw hands — well, they do throw hands now in the league — but you can’t just do that. But in some way, his teammates should have let Gronkowski know how dirty and how out of bounds that play was. So I was kind of disappointed in that.”
Several Bills players decried the hit after the game, with safety Jordan Poyer saying “of course” they will remember it as they prepare for the rematch on Christmas Eve.
Regardless of whether the Bills act on their desire to get back at Gronkowski, it’s safe to expect some after-the-whistle shenanigans during that. Each of the last 10 Patriots-Bills matchups has included at least one unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness penalty (23 in all during that span), and a brawl nearly broke out during warmups before their first meeting last season.