Truth & Rumors > NFL

Ward chose to target Gronk low

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07:23 AM ET 12.09 | Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward made a call in real time, at NFL speed. [Ward], whose crushing hit on the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski that took the tight end out of the game, said he made a conscious decision on where to target him because he was concerned about the possibility of being fined. "I think they ran a seam route and I closed on the pass," Ward said. "It was a decision I made, and just to make a tackle on a big man. Unfortunately, he got hurt, but if I would have hit him up high, there's a chance that I would get fined and all that other stuff, so I'm just being safe." It's not an easy decision, Ward said. The sheer size of Gronkowski (listed at 6-6, 265 pounds) has a player like him re-think how to attempt to take player like him down. "It's kind of being caught between a rock and a hard place," he said.

The Boston Globe

Rob Gronkowski, Icon Sports Rob Gronkowski, Icon Sports
Comment #1 has been removed
December 9, 2013  07:39 AM ET

He should have aimed higher and taken Squonk's head off.

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Comment #5 has been removed
December 9, 2013  07:46 AM ET

Man just got done rehabbing his back and arm, only to get injured by an obvious low blow.

December 9, 2013  07:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

i'm sure Gronk would've ''paid'' your fine if you hit him in the *middle*......yu dumb/a/s/s.....!

It's a big boys league and Ward did what most safeties would do. Too bad he planted his right leg at the same time Ward hit him. The Pats did the same kind of hit to Josh Gordon in that game too and the Browns aren't whining.

December 9, 2013  07:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Man just got done rehabbing his back and arm, only to get injured by an obvious low blow.

By obvious low blow, do you mean illegal or intentional to injure? Because those kinds of hits are commonplace in football and completely legal and taught now that hitting them high is illegal. Lets put skirts on the players next and make it flag football.

December 9, 2013  07:51 AM ET

Oh wait, I forgot, you can't hit New England players especially Brady.

Comment #10 has been removed
December 9, 2013  07:58 AM ET

Brady, the leagues most protected QB. Yesterday, the refs called Jason Campbell for an intentional grounding that they would NEVER have called Brady for.

Comment #12 has been removed
December 9, 2013  08:14 AM ET

Rise and shine for the trolls this morning.

December 9, 2013  08:22 AM ET

Are head injuries important to protect against? Absolutely! That being said, the NFL has gone WAY overboard in how they've combat the issue of head injuries. Brandon Marriweather sounded like a complete moron when he said it, but he was absolutely right. Low hits like that are the only way right now that DBs can hit without getting fined. We're only going to be seeing injuries like this more and more. Thanks Goodell!

December 9, 2013  08:23 AM ET

Are head injuries important to protect against? Absolutely! That being said, the NFL has gone WAY overboard in how they've combat the issue of head injuries. Brandon Marriweather sounded like a complete moron when he said it, but he was absolutely right. Low hits like that are the only way right now that DBs can hit without getting fined. We're only going to be seeing injuries like this more and more. Thanks Goodell!

December 9, 2013  08:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

i'm sure Gronk would've ''paid'' your fine if you hit him in the *middle*......yu dumb/a/s/s.....!

You have that on good authority, I suppose?

December 9, 2013  08:27 AM ET

The NFL wanted to minimize hits to the head. This is what you get in return.

Good thing, too, because Gronk probably doesn't have much upstairs left to lose...

December 9, 2013  08:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Man just got done rehabbing his back and arm, only to get injured by an obvious low blow.

Thats what the NFL wants......hit the guys low and it will create more knee injuries, but will also have to say a guy the size of Gronk you have to hit him low to bring him down if you hit him high you just bounce off.

Comment #19 has been removed
 
December 9, 2013  08:29 AM ET

Get used to it folks. This is what defenses are forced to do now since Goodell has tightened the screws on what is legal and what is not.

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