Dec 8, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Cleveland Browns strong safety T.J. Ward (43) and inside linebacker D

TJ Ward went low Rob Gronkowski to avoid fine, ‘I don’t like playing for free’


There is a lot of back and forth over Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward’s low hit on Rob Gronkowski. That hit tore his ACL and MCL and ended Gronkowski’s season. Ward initially said he was trying to avoid a fine

“If I would’ve hit him up high, there’s a chance I was going to get a fine,” Ward said, via the Boston Globe.

“It’s kind of being caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “It’s a decision you have to make, but you have to follow the rules at the same time. When they set the rule, everyone knew what was going to happen. This can happen if you have those types of situations. It’s pretty much inevitable, and they forced our hand with this one.”

Ward stuck to those comments and said the hit was legal.

“When they set the rule, everyone knew what was going to happen,” Ward said, via The Plain Dealer. “This can happen if you have those types of situations. It’s pretty much inevitable and they forced our hand with this one.

“I’ve been fined three times, and I don’t like playing for free. If you go ask anybody in this league would they like to play for free? No. Repeat offenders, they’re starting to suspend people for the year. I can’t risk that. I won’t risk that. And, I’ve got to play within the rules, point blank.”

Tags: Cleveland Browns New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski T.J. Ward TJ Ward