Talib re­tal­i­ates for hit on team­mate

Har­ris: Ti­tans WR Dou­glas “tried to end my ca­reer” and “should be fined”

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nicki Jhab­vala Nicki Jhab­vala: njhab­vala@den­ver­post.com or @Nick­iJhab­vala

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

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