New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee, damage sustained on a hit by Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward on Sunday.
Gronkowski got hit in the knee by Ward, who made a choice to go low rather than risk a fine by hitting the tight end in the helmet area.
“It was a decision I made just to make a tackle on a big man and unfortunately he got hurt, but if I would've hit up high, there's a chance I would get fined and all that other stuff. I'm just being safe,” Ward said. “My intention is never to hurt anyone. That's not what this game is about. That's not how I play, I hate to see guys go down with any type of injury and I just wanted him to know, whether he accepted it or not, it wasn't an intentional hit to injure him. But we have to play this game, we have to play it the way that they force us to, and unfortunately, we incurred an injury for him.”
The Patriots are expected to re-sign tight end D.J. Williams, who was cut last week, according to the Boston Globe.
After undergoing offseason back and forearm surgeries, Gronkowski returned to catch 37 passes for 560 yards and four touchdowns.
Now, he'll undergo another surgery for his knee and have to rehab that injury to get ready for next season.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.