Talib retaliates for hit on teammate
Harris: Titans WR Douglas “tried to end my career” and “should be fined”
nashville, tenn.» The camera lights dimmed and the media standing around Chris Harris’ locker began walking away. But the anger inside Harris only intensified.
“That was so illegal,” he said. “I have never had a player try to end my career like that. That was dirty and he should be fined. That’s not football. He tried to take me out of the game and tried to end my career. That’s not football.”
With about three minutes to go in the second quarter Titans wide receiver Harry Douglas appeared to target Harris’s right knee on a block. Harris immediately crumpled to the ground, fearing he may have sustained a season-ending injury. Memories of 2013, when he tore his right ACL and had to miss Super Bowl XLVIII, flooded back as his teammates crowded around him. Choice words were belted across the field to Douglas and his teammates as Harris slowly stood. He, too, looked back at Douglas and shouted in fury.
“I can’t even say what I said,” Harris said. “I feel OK. I was sore, I’m not going to lie. I was hurting a little bit, but I fought through it and I’m going to tough it out for my team.”
Harris returned to the game two plays later, but not before cornerback Aqib Talib rushed to his defense. After a short run by DeMarco Murray, Talib targeted Douglas, pouncing on him on the sideline, which sparked a brawl.
“He tried to do something dirty, so that’s why I’m going to beat his (butt),” Talib said.
“Our defense is a close-knit group. We have each other’s back,” outside linebacker Shane Ray said. “When one of our leaders goes down in that kind of fashion, I mean, you’re poking at a pack of wolves. You feel me? So the reaction that they got is what they deserved.”
Douglas tried to defend his play after the game, saying the cut block was “a clean play.”
“It was a run play with me and him looking at each other and I cut-blocked him,” Douglas said. “Like I told them, if they watch film, which they’re supposed to do in the NFL, you would know I can cut block in the run game and that’s a legal play. I guess he didn’t watch film because if he watched me last week or any other game he would see that’s what I do in the run game.”
The Titans’ drive meandered after the fight. After multiple failed attempts to punch the ball in the end zone they settled for a 41-yard field goal. Although the Broncos played catch-up for the remainder of the game, that hit on Harris shifted momentum. The Titans didn’t score again as the Broncos’ defense appear to regain its swagger.
“We came out with the mentality that we were going to try to be physical,” Ray said. “But once that happened, of course, now the competition is raised. Now we want to really punish guys. It changed the game a little bit, but not too much.”
The Broncos Aqib Talib and the Titans’ Harry Douglas tussle during the second quarter Sunday Talib was upset about a hit on teammate Chris Harris by Douglas. Joe Amon, The Denver Post