Sports

Browns safety TJ Ward low on options on hit that hurt Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski

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FOXBOROUGH — Rob Gronkowski had barely taken three strides after hauling in a seam pass from Tom Brady, but in that short amount of time Browns safety TJ Ward had to think about exactly how he was going to take Gronkowski down.

Willingly running into a 6-foot-6-inch, 265-pound truck was an issue.

“Gronk’s a big dude,” Ward said. “He’s not small by any means.”

Ward knew that with the NFL’s rules prohibiting leading with the helmet and targeting around the shoulders, hitting Gronkowski high wasn’t an option.

So the only option he could see was going low. Gronkowski hurt his knee on the play and may have a torn ACL.

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