Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski claims he isn't paying attention to threats from the Buffalo Bills.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski responds to threats from Bills

Ryan Wooden

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has a clear target on his back entering his team’s rematch with the Buffalo Bills after he uncorked a cheap shot on cornerback Tre’Davious White late in their first matchup in Week 13.

Gronkowski felt frustrated that referees weren’t calling Bills defenders for contact down the field and for some reason decided the best way to vent that frustration was to spear White in the back of the head with a shoulder while White was laying defenseless on the sidelines after an interception.

The Bills are still seething about the hit and have inferred that retaliation is forthcoming. Gronkowski responded to those threats earlier in the week.

“I’m just focusing on the game Sunday,” Gronkowski said according to Nora Princiotti of the Boston Globe. “I’m just preparing the same and we’ll see how it goes.

“To tell you the truth, I’m just expecting a very good, hard-nosed football team on the defensive side of the ball, for the Bills to be coming full speed like they always do every time we play them.”

Of course, Gronkowski is a big man who can take care of himself in the traditional sense, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll be able to protect himself from what he can’t see coming.

The Patriots need a win to keep the Pittsburgh Steelers at arm’s length in the race for home-field advantage in the AFC, so it’s understandable that Gronkowski is trying to stay focused on the task at hand. However, it’ll also behoove him to keep his head on a swivel on Sunday, especially if it appears that the outcome is decided early.

The Bills have a postseason spot of their own to play for, and that might influence whether they come after Gronkowski, but if the Patriots put the game away early and they lose that incentive, the situation might change. And that’s something Gronkowski can’t afford to ignore.