Browns safety T.J. Ward said he was doing his job as an NFL safety.
After Rob Gronkowski caught a pass that wound up going for 21 yards, Ward aimed low on the Patriots' tight end's body. Ward's helmet collided with Gronkowski's knee, which tore his ACL and MCL, ending his season.
After the game, Ward was asked about the play, to which the safety said was unintentional but the right one to make since the NFL wants to eliminates high hits near the neck and head area.
“It’s kind of being caught between a rock and a hard place,” Ward said, via the Boston Globe. “It’s a decision you have to make, but you have to follow the rules at the same time. When they set the rule, everyone knew what was going to happen. This can happen if you have those types of situations. It’s pretty much inevitable, and they forced our hand with this one.”
As long as the NFL is trying to do away with helmet-to-helmet hits, more of these types of injuries can be expected to happen.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.