Last night’s New England/Seattle game was one of the first NFL games through the midway point of the season that had a playoff feel. There must’ve been a dozen “oh my god he’s dead” hits on both sides of the ball, but mostly delivered by the 6’3”, 230 pound Kam Chancellor–who I’m convinced is half-human, half-transformer.
Patriots fans (myself included) collectively held our breaths during the second quarter when Tom Brady tried threading a pass to Rob Gronkowski in between two defenders. Gronk failed to reel the pass in and to add insult to injury was blasted by the 5-foot-10, 202-pound Earl Thomas.
Gronk got up slowly, looking a bit woozy, and medical personnel took to the field to check up on the 6-foot-6, 265 pound tight end.
After the game, Gronk, who finished with three receptions for 56 yards, claims Thomas’ hit was one of the hardest he’s ever been on the receiving end of.
Via Pro Football Talk,
“Yeah, that was a big hit for sure; probably one of the hardest I’ve got hit in my career for sure,” Gronkowski said to reporters after the game. “[It was] by a good player; a good fast player who’s like a missile. It was a good, clean hit; nothing against it. I just took it and it just knocked the wind out of me a little bit, that’s all. If you’ve ever gotten the wind knocked out of you, you know what that feels like. Just down for about a minute or two, it’s a little tough to breath, but once it comes back, you’re good.”
The hit not only displayed the abilities of Thomas, a five-time Pro Bowler, but also demonstrated Gronk’s toughness. We’ve all gotten the wind knocked out of us and it is debilitatingly uncomfortable. I would have needed a stretcher, or at the very least a good 8-12 minutes to wince in pain on the turf. Gronk, on the other hand, was not as visibly affected as a human being should be when being involved in the equivalent of a car crash.
[h/t Pro Football Talk, Uproxx]