Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was knocked out of Sunday’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jadeveon Clowney, but the star defensive end insisted the hit was clean.
While replay of the hit appeared to show Clowney lean with his helmet as Wentz dove forward at the end of a scramble in the first quarter, Clowney defended himself after the game.
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“There might be death threats this week,” Clowney said, according to NJ.com. “I’ll tell you once I get on my Instagram, because they usually light me up, tell me to go to hell, die, go to prison, you need to be in jail — you and your family, all of y’all. You should’ve seen the messages I had last year.
“I tried to tell those boys [on the Seahawks], ‘This team hates me. Their fans hate me for some reason.’ They think I tried to kill Nick Foles. It was bang-bang.”
Clowney said the hit on Wentz was a “bang-bang play.”
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“I was just playing fast,” he said. “It was a bang-bang play. I don’t want to hurt nobody in this league. I’ve been down that injury road. It ain’t fun. My intentions weren’t to hurt him. That’s a great player over there. I hope he’s OK. It was just a small hit. Everybody was going crazy. I’m like, ‘I didn’t even hit him hard.’
“I was like, ‘Why are people booing?’ I didn’t think it was that crazy of a hit. I fell on him a little bit, but I didn’t think it was that big of a hit. I really didn’t even put a lot into it. For him to go out, I was like, ‘He’s out?’ It surprised me.”
Wentz suffered a concussion on the play and was later ruled out for the rest of the game. Josh McCown subbed in for Wentz and played well but couldn’t get the win.
Referee Shawn Smith said after the game that officials saw “incidental helmet contact.”
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The Seahawks move onto the next round to play the Green Bay Packers.