Bills center Eric Wood says Browns were ‘classless’ after E.J. Manuel’s knee injury
During Thursday night’s 37-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel suffered an injury to his right knee on a play when Browns safety Tashaun Gipson went low — but legal — to tackle Manuel near the sideline as the quarterback tried to pick up a few extra yards after getting a first down on a 14-yard run during the third quarter of Thursday night’s game.
Manuel was able to walk off the field under his own power, but never returned to the game. The original diagnosis was that Manuel suffered a knee sprain, but he was expected to undergo an MRI to assess the extent of the injury, and NFL.com now is reporting that he suffered an LCL sprain that will not require surgery. Coach Doug Marrone said Friday he expects Manuel to be out “a few weeks.”
Following the game, Bills center Eric Wood accused Browns players of behaving in a “classless” manner as Manuel was down on the ground injured.
Wood claims that Browns safety T.J. Ward hollered, “Hey, I told you to warn [Manuel] that we were going to get him” to a teammate, linebacker Kiko Alonso, according to a report on ESPN.com.
Woods took no issue with the tackle itself, just how the Browns behaved following Manuel’s injury.
“The hit was fine,” Wood said. “What ticked me off was the way [the Browns] acted afterwards. I hope our defense never acts that way when they injure an opposing quarterback. You have to show some class in that situation.”
Woods likely was most irritated by the actions of Gipson, who after delivering the hit, appeared to celebrate in the direction of Manuel as the quarterback was on the ground holding his knee.
Gipson admitted that in light of the outcome of the play, celebrating probably wasn’t the best decision.
“Maybe my gesture at the end probably didn’t suit it well,” Gipson said.
But Gipson defended his actions, saying it wasn’t a a “dirty hit.” The entirely of the play, including Gipson’s celebratory gesture, can be seen here, but below is the hit:
“It’s the game of football. Things like that happen. I definitely don’t intentionally try to hurt anybody. I wouldn’t dare do that. I’m not that kind of player,” Gipson said. “Our QB took a shot. Their QB took a shot. Not to say that we were trying to go one for one, but it’s the game of football. He’s running around on the sidelines. He could have gotten out of bounds. He didn’t. So it’s my job to bring the ballcarrier down.”
Hard to argue with his assessment of the play. But celebrating while a guy is down injured? That’s bush league.