Although the Cleveland Browns left Thursday night’s game the victors on the right side of a 29-17 scoreboard, it was not without casualties. Current AFC North leaders lost starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. after a screen pass early in the third quarter.
Facing a 2nd and 14, the Steelers executed a screen to run back Jaylen Warren, which worked great, picking up 35 yards in the process; However, right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was flagged off the game after hitting Walker, who went down and left the game with an injury.
But he wasn’t spotted for the hit, nor for putting his body on him while Walker was lying. He was indeed flagged as an illegal man in the field. Nevertheless, with the injury timed out, the television broadcast debated which element of Okorafor’s hit on Walker would be the cause of the flag, which turned out to be neither.
Asked about the game yesterday, and whether or not they would submit a video of the game to the league for consideration of the discipline being imposed against Okorafor, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters: “I’ll let the league sort those things out. “.
It’s a somewhat ambiguous answer, but of course the NFL judges all play of each game for discipline, usually in the form of penalties. Not all personal fouls mentioned in the game are ultimately deemed worthy of a penalty (or even personal fouls), and there are certainly games that have not been penalized in the game and which, upon review, are found to be illegal and warrant a penalty .
“I was just playing football. I couldn’t tell you what happenedOkorafor said for his part on the piece, according to Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And indeed, because of the result of the piece it could well be to appear at first glance worse for him than it really was. Or will be found. The fact that reporters even asked Stefanski about submitting tape to the competition about the hit also shows that.
Since it was a Thursday game, we may not know until late next week what the NFL made of Okorafor’s contact with Walker on the piece. The Browns put the veteran linebacker on the reserve/injured list yesterday with a torn quad and left the game on a cart with an air blast to his left leg.
Looking at the game, frankly, it’s hard to determine how and when the injury occurred. Okorafor actually hits the linebacker high, with his left arm making contact with Walker in the head and neck area. This causes him to fall backwards, but at this point his left foot seems to be unplanted.
In fact, the more I look at it, the more convinced I am that he blew out his quad right before Okorafor hit him. It doesn’t look like he initially expected the right tackle to come off a double team block and work to the second level and he tried to catch himself. The fact that his left foot was not planted also seems to indicate that he lifted it because he had already felt a click. The way he gently turns his leg as he goes down also makes it clear that he was injured before Okorafor leaned on him or Daniels stepped on him, grazing his injured leg first and they stepped on the opposite.
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