NFL notes

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Bills strong safety Micah Hyde (23) during Sunday's game at Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Bills strong safety Micah Hyde (23) during Sunday's game at Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

NFL upholds Gronkowski's 1-game suspension

The NFL has denied Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's appeal of a one-game suspension for a late, gratuitous hit to the head of Bills defensive back Tre'Davious White.

The league announced the decision of appeals officer Derrick Brooks on Tuesday.

White was face down on the sideline after intercepting a pass in Buffalo on Sunday when Gronkowski body-slammed him, driving his forearm into White's back and head. Gronkowski was called for unnecessary roughness, but not kicked out of the game. White went into the concussion protocol.

Gronkowski, who apologized for the hit , will serve his suspension against Miami next Monday night.

Hall of Famer Warner to analyze 2 late-season games

Kurt Warner will replace Cris Collinsworth for two late-season NFL game telecasts.

The Hall of Fame quarterback will be the analyst with play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico for the Dec. 16 Chicago-Detroit game on NFL Network, and for the Christmas game of Pittsburgh at Houston on NBC and NFLN. Tirico has been joined by Collinsworth for most Thursday night games handled by NBC in the second half of the NFL schedule this year. Collinsworth has scheduling conflicts on Dec. 16 and 25.

Warner has been an NFL Network studio analyst since 2010 and also has worked Monday night games for Westwood One since 2014. He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

"There is nothing I enjoy more than being at the stadium on game day, being able to watch the action up close, and experience the energy of the fans," Warner says.

Bills place WR Matthews, DE Lawson on IR

The Buffalo Bills have placed wide receiver Jordan Matthews and defensive end Shaq Lawson on injured reserve, ending their seasons.

Both starters had difficult seasons for Buffalo, dealing with injuries and inconsistent play.

Matthews was acquired in a preseason trade with Philadelphia and was expected to become one of Buffalo's top options in the passing game following the trade of Sammy Watkins.

However, Matthews struggled with injuries throughout his time in Buffalo. Shortly after his arrival, Matthews fractured his sternum. He broke his thumb in a Week 4 win over the Atlanta Falcons and has spent much of the past month dealing with a knee injury, which ended his season.

Matthews finished the season with 25 receptions for 282 yards and one touchdown. He's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this spring.

Lawson, Buffalo's first-round pick from 2016, took on a starting role but struggled with inconsistent play. He finished with 33 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble. Lawson injured an ankle in Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots; he also dealt with a groin injury earlier this season.

Bears place Kyle Long on IR

The Chicago Bears have placed right guard Kyle Long on injured reserve for the second straight season.

The three-time Pro Bowler has been trying to play through a left shoulder injury he suffered in 2016. He aggravated it during Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers and sat out the second half.

Long also suffered a season-ending ankle injury last season and has dealt with a finger issue this season. Coach John Fox had said the Bears (3-9) might hold him out of the final four games, and they made it official Tuesday with the move to IR.

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