The Patriots had to finish last night’s game without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered an injury when he took a hit to the knee. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says those hits are the natural extension of the league’s emphasis on avoiding hits to the head.
Brady was asked if he thought the hit on Gronkowski was dirty, and Brady said he doesn’t think a player like Broncos safety Darian Stewart has any choice but to go low when trying to make a tackle.
“I hate to see it, but it’s really the only way for defenders to hit now. I bet if you asked a lot of players they’d probably rather you go high than low. You go low, that’s what happens. I don’t think it’s dirty, I just think that’s the way football is being played now,” Brady said.
Brady was visibly shaken after the game, although Gronkowski’s injury is not believed to be serious.
“It’s so hard to see guys get hurt like this,” Brady said. “Guys sacrifice their bodies and it’s hard to see your friends get taken down like that.”
And the NFL rules, while potentially reducing the number of head injuries, may increase the number of players taken down like Gronkowski was last night.