On Sunday, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski delivered one the dirtiest hits of the season, when he deliberately dove at Buffalo Bills CB Tre’Davious White, who was lying on the ground after the play had ended. Gronk, who appeared to wind up, dove at White and clearly put his elbow into the back of his head. White had half his body out of bounds, and showed no intention of getting up to make a play. There is no excuse for this kind of play, and Gronk apologized for the play:
— Jonah Javad (@JonahJavad) December 3, 2017
On, Monday night, Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster delivered a monstrous block on Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict. Burfict was running down the first down yard-line chasing LeVeon Bell when Smith-Schuster delivered a massive blow to neck area from the blind side. He then taunted Burfict by standing over him and trash-talking:
JuJu just laid Burfict tf out pic.twitter.com/nkL8mKiPyq
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) December 5, 2017
Unlike Gronk’s play, this was a legitimate football play, albeit illegal. However, both players were handed one game suspensions by the NFL, with both players’ appeals being denied last night, according to Adam Schefter.
The difference between these plays is huge, because one has football intentions and the other does not. And even though Smith-Schuster taunted, that does not equate to potentially severe head trauma on an action that should not happen, and has no reason to happen. Smith-Schuster should be fined, but not suspended in my opinion, and there’s no way the same punishment fits both of these crimes.