Tre'Davious White: Bills must put Rob Gronkowski hit on 'back burner'

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White and safety Micah Hyde said Wednesday that it does not make sense for them to retaliate against New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski this Sunday for his Dec. 3 late hit against White.

“We know if we go out there and try do anything selfish or anything to hurt the team, we can cost ourselves a playoff spot -- or one of our main players -- by going out there and doing something stupid,” White said. “We need everybody. It’s going to be a total team effort. We gonna definitely need everybody on the field to beat this team. We gonna put that on the back burner and just focus on winning.”

Both Hyde and White were outspoken against Gronkowski, who was suspended one game for the fourth-quarter blow to White as he lay face-down on the field after an interception.

Hyde said after the Bills’ 23-3 loss to New England that it was a “dirty play” and had no place in the game, and White later called Gronkowski a “dirty player” after the rookie cornerback was cleared from the concussion protocol four days after the game.

White backed off his “dirty player” comment in an interview Tuesday with SiriusXM NFL Radio, saying “as I’ve had time to think about it, I knew he wasn’t that type of player.” White elaborated Wednesday on his change in opinion on Gronkowski.

“It was just getting over it,” he said. “After the game -- well, the week [after] it -- it was just still lingering on me. Just as I got a chance to think about it, that was childish. It was childish. But I got over it and I’m past it. I’m just focused on winning.”

When White was asked to clarify whether he meant his reaction to Gronkowski’s hit was childish, or the hit itself, White said, “The whole incident. It wasn’t the way things should have been handled or how the game played out, or however what happened played out, it shouldn’t have been that way. It happened. I’ve moved on from it.”

White said Wednesday that he has not heard from Gronkowski since the hit and does not expect him to apologize. He also said he has no plans to approach Gronkowski before or during the game and will treat him like any other player.

Hyde reiterated Wednesday that he does not believe Gronkowski’s hit had any place within football, regardless of whether Gronkowski was frustrated about what he perceived should have been a pass interference penalty for White before the interception. However, Hyde stressed that the Bills must accept the NFL’s suspension against Gronkowski and move forward when they travel to play the Patriots this Sunday.

“Tre's gonna handle his business, we're not worried about that,” Hyde said. “But at the same time, yeah, we are a family, we understand that, we like to be hanging out with each other inside and outside the locker room and so when something like that happens you wanna stick up for him. But you gotta stay within the rules and the regulations of the game.

“Fines and suspensions are coming left and right. You see it in the NFL all the time, so you gotta be smart, try not to hurt your team and get a negative penalty. So, yeah, we are a family but there's ways you go about it without jeopardizing your team.”

Both White and Hyde said Bills coach Sean McDermott has not addressed the hit with his team this week.

“Any time we spend discussing that situation is wasted time and getting in our way of becoming a better football team,” McDermott said Wednesday.