After absorbing a brutal blow to the chest from Seahawks safety Earl Thomas on Sunday, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was quick to say he thought the hit was within the rules of the game.
And while it appears it could put Gronkowski on the sideline, although reports differ on the severity of his injury, there are no hard feelings between the two players.
Thomas expressed his respect for Gronkowski in a tweet Tuesday.
Nothing but respect for Gronk. One of the best I've lined up against. Hoping to see him back on the field sooner than later.— Earl Thomas (@Earl_Thomas) November 15, 2016
Gronkowski responded by reiterating his belief that Thomas played fair and square.
“That was probably one of the hardest hits of my career,’’ said Gronkowski. “He’s a good, fast player that’s like a missile. It was a good, clean hit. I’ve got no problem with it. He hit me fair and square.’’
Listen: Rob Gronkowski’s postgame comments
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.