James Harrison is casting blame on the NFL `for Nick Chubb’s devastating knee injury in Monday’s Browns-Steelers game.
In a new interview with TMZ Sports, the former Steelers linebacker, 45, spoke about the season-ending injury the Browns running back sustained on “Monday Night Football,” when Pittsburgh safety Minkah Fitzpatrick dove at Chubb’s legs to finish a tackle after he had been wrapped up by Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb.
Harrison opined Fitzpatrick had to aim low because of the league’s rules.
“You’ve made it to where if a guy goes in there and comes in high and hits him in the head, now he’s getting fined. So, what do you have to do? You’ve got guys shooting low now. That’s just what you’ve done made the game into,” said Harrison, who played 15 seasons in the league before calling it a career in 2018.
Nick Chubb (24) is injured on a tackle during a Browns-Steelers game Sept. 18, 2023.Getty Images
Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison is speaking out on the fallout of the Nick Chubb injury.Getty Images
Harrison is one of several former players who have weighed in on Fitzpatrick’s play after Chubb’s injury, with some calling the hit “dirty.”
The two-time Super Bowl champion is not one of them.
“No, you’re trying to get him down, period. He’s not a little guy, he don’t run light, he’s trying to get him down by any means necessary, ” Harrison said when asked if he thought the play was “dirty.”
Jason McCourty, a former NFL defensive back, offered a similar sentiment Tuesday on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”
“I don’t think it was intentionally dirty,” McCourty said. “When you look at the replay and you see him going low while someone is tackling him up high — and you’re like, ‘Well why would he do that?’
“You have to remember, DBs are the smallest guys out there on the field a lot of times. The way you get a big to back down, you have to go low. If you’re Minkah Fitzpatrick, you can’t tackle a Nick Chubb up high because he’s going to run right through you.”
Nick Chubb is taken to a cart following an injury in the Browns-Steelers game Sept. 18, 2023.AP
Nick Chubb is out for the season. Getty Images
Nate Burleson, a former wide receiver, offered a different take Tuesday when responding to a tweet from Ryan Clark, who was once a safety for the Steelers.
“The reason there is outrage about that hit on Chubb isn’t about the game or it’s fans getting soft. The problem is Minkah who is a veteran DB torpedoed at Chubbs leg while he was already being taken down by a defender,” Burleson wrote.
“For me it’s 1 of 2 things … Malicious or a weak attempt at tackling someone. I don’t know Minkah well enough to call him dirty, so I won’t.”
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has been at the center of controversy following the play.AP
Fitzpatrick, who is in his fifth season in Pittsburgh, also exited Monday’s game — a 26-22 Steelers win — with a chest injury.
He was taken to a local hospital, with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin offering an encouraging update Tuesday.
“Based on the information I have today, they feel good about where he is,” Tomlin said, according to Trib Live. “We’ll see where the week leads us.”
As for the Browns, they signed running back Kareem Hunt to a one-year deal Wednesday to help fill the massive void left by Chubb.