National Football League fines Barry Church $24k for hit on Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski

Jaguars safety Barry Church has been slapped with a $24,309 fine by the National Football League for his head-to-head hit on Rob Gronkowski that concussed the Patriots tight end in the AFC championship game, according to ESPN.

Gronkowski did not practice for the third straight day Friday as a result of the head injury suffered in the AFC Championship Game.

Under the NFL's concussion protocol, players are allowed to participate in non-contact portions of practice before being cleared by an independent doctor.

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The Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on February 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Although Gronk's return to the practice field is a promising sign for his recovery, the Patriots confirmed he's still in the concussion protocol. "So it obviously hurts when he's not out there for a lot of reasons, but he's doing the best he can do and we're all hopeful".

Gronk played just eight games last season and missed the Patriots' entire playoff run after undergoing season-ending back surgery.

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When asked about Gronkowski's status Wednesday, coach Bill Belichick would not detail the extent of his tight end's injury.

For a New England fan looking at Super Bowl MVP odds, the easy choice will always be Brady if they win. If there were a game, the Pro Bowler would have been ruled out.

Although it's hard to truly gauge how long it takes for any player to recover fully from a concussion, it appears that Gronkowski has shown enough progress for him to be assessed that he can take the field for the contest. "Being a part of a couple of these losses, those are pretty tough to swallow, but I think you realize how much effort you have to put in to prepare".

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  • Jill Young