Gronkowski was carted off the field in the third quarter of the match with a suspected ACL tear having been hit directly in his right knee by Ward.
However, the Browns safety revealed that he chose to go low with the tackle in an attempt to avoid a fine from the NFL rather than due to any malicious intent.
"It was a decision I made just to make a tackle on a big man and unfortunately he got hurt, but if I would've hit up high, there's a chance I would get fined and all that other stuff. I'm just being safe," ESPN quotes Ward as saying.
"My intention is never to hurt anyone. That's not what this game is about. That's not how I play, I hate to see guys go down with any type of injury and I just wanted him to know, whether he accepted it or not, it wasn't an intentional hit to injure him.
"But we have to play this game, we have to play it the way that they force us to, and unfortunately, we incurred an injury for him."
The Patriots looked set for their first home defeat of the season in the match until Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the final 61 seconds to secure a dramatic 27-26 win for his side.