Cleveland Browns team leaders are defending the hit against Patrick Mahomes that sent him out of the game. Both Myles Garrett and quarterback Baker Mayfield said the hit wasn’t “headhunting.”
Browns linebacker Mack Wilson hit Mahomes in the third quarter of the Chiefs 22-17 win Sunday, sending the superstar to the sideline to be evaluated. Doctors pulled the superstar quarterback from the game after doctors thought he may have a concussion. Chad Henne filled in the Mahomes for the rest of the game and even earned some praise from the starter on Twitter.
Some people, including Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, said after the game that they believed Wilson may have targeted Mahomes’ head, presumably to remove him from the game. But Mayfield and Garrett took the accusation personally.
“I want to say that nobody on our team is headhunting, going after guys or trying to hurt a guy, no matter how good he is,” Browns defensive end Garrett told reporters. “We are praying for his recovery and praying for his success. He has always been a quality guy and the way he does stuff for the community. He is a leader on and off the field that you appreciate seeing, especially from a guy of that caliber and just always trying to be a positive force everywhere he goes.”
Mayfield missed the hit, but he defended Wilson’s character.
“I did not specifically see the hit, but Mack is not a dirty player,” Mayfield told reporters, via the Beacon Journal. “That is not the case. If anybody truly thinks that, that is their own opinion so they can have it that way. Like I said, I hope Pat is OK, and like I said, Mack is not like that.”
Kelce, Others Not Happy with Hit on Patrick Mahomes
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce took issue the tackle, mostly because of how the Browns celebrated afterward.
“This is a violent game,” Kelce said afterward, according to the Associated Press. “We wear helmets for a reason and that’s because guys are flying around trying to take your head off. You never want to say someone purposely tries to take you out of the game, but after the initial hit they were fired up, saying, ‘That’s what we do. That’s what we do.’ I do feel like those guys are good and I respect a lot of them … especially Myles.”
Mack Wilson tweeted that the comments were insulting and wished Mahomes a speedy recovery.
“Never been a dirty player in my life. I just try my best to play fast and make plays. Don’t try to insult me & keep the threats to yourself,” Wilson wrote on Twitter. “Prayers to Patrick Mahomes. I pray you back next week! Go be great like you have been!”
Mahomes responded to Wilson with a tweet reading “All good brother!” with a flexed bicep emoji.
The good news is Mahomes is likely going to be just fine. Despite missing the final quarter and a half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game, he’s expected to play in the AFC Championship game against the Bills.
“He got hit in the back of the head and kinda knocked the wind out of him and everything else with it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.” He’s doing great right now which is a real positive as we looked at this. Passed all the deals that he needed to pass so we’ll see where it goes from here.”