ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott does not want his players thinking this week about retaliating against New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for his illegal hit Dec. 3 on Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White.
“We’ve got too much work to do,” McDermott said Monday. “And this is too good of an opponent for us to, A, talk about it, or B, even think about it. The weeks go by too fast for us to do anything but focus on what we’ve got to do and the New England Patriots.”
The Patriots host the Bills this Sunday after defeating Buffalo 23-3 earlier this month. The Bills enter the game with an 8-6 record and a 27 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
White and his teammates are expected to address the hit when they return to practice Wednesday.
Gronkowski was penalized for unnecessary roughness and suspended one game after he dove into White after the rookie cornerback made an interception in the fourth quarter of the teams’ Dec. 3 meeting. Gronkowski drove his arm into the back of the helmet of White, who was lying facedown on the field. He later apologized for the play.
White was placed in the concussion protocol but returned for the Bills’ next game against the Indianapolis Colts. He later called Gronkowski a “dirty player” and said the tight end’s apology did not mean anything to him. White also said it was “a joke” that the NFL suspended Gronkowski only one game.
“Once we get back to that week where we play [the Patriots], we'll see what happens,” White said Dec. 7 of the Bills’ upcoming game against New England.
After returning from his suspension, Gronkowski briefly addressed reporters last Friday before walking off the podium.
"I definitely learned from the mistake that I made, for sure, a couple weeks ago," Gronkowski said. "But I have a huge game this Sunday, we have a huge game as a team, so I'm just putting all my focus onto the Steelers this week."