Gronkowski, Broncos trade jabs on social media

What started as a brief comment from Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. quickly turned into a back-and-forth between Denver and one of the New England Patriots‘ best players.

When asked during a SportsCenter interview Tuesday morning for the best way to defend star Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Harris responded, “You gotta hit him low, man. Hit him in his knees. That’s the best chance you got of hitting him.”

Gronkowski didn’t appear to take that comment kindly. Hours later, he posted on Twitter an off-color comment about the Broncos, whom the Pats will meet Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.

Denver retweeted Gronk’s post, then later Tuesday tweeted, “The low down on defending @Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski,” with a video breaking down the challenges of defending the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Pro Bowler.

Gronkowski, of course, has a history of knee problems. He tore his ACL and MCL in 2013, when he took a direct hit to his right knee from then-Browns and current Broncos safety T.J. Ward. When the Patriots and Broncos met in November in Denver, Gronkowski hurt his right knee again, this time on a low hit from Darian Stewart. The injury appeared significant at the time, but Gronkowski missed only one game.

Gronkowski is coming off a two-touchdown game against the Chiefs in Saturday’s divisional round. His eight TD catches in the postseason are the most ever by a tight end.

On Monday, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall shared his thinking as to how Gronkowski posts such gaudy receiving stats.

“I say because he pushes off,” Marshall told NBC Sports’ “Pro Football Talk Live” radio show. “I mean, he pushes off, and he gets away with it about 98 percent of the time.” – TOP