GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers still thinks Matt Elam could have hit Randall Cobb in a way that wouldn’t have resulted in a broken leg, but the Green Bay Packers quarterback certainly wasn’t as adamant about the hit Tuesday as he was in the immediate aftermath of his leading wide receiver’s injury, when he confronted the Baltimore Ravens safety on the field.
Rodgers even conceded, as he did after the game, that Ravens safety James Ihedigbo had a valid point when he told Rodgers after the confrontation that defenders have a hard time finding a legal place to hit an offensive player with the NFL’s emphasis on reducing hits to the head and concussions.
Cobb suffered a broken fibula on the hit and will miss at least the Packers’ next eight games after being placed on injured reserve with the designation to return.
Rodgers talked immediately after the game about his confrontation with Elam, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh spoke about it on Monday.
“Aaron made a good, quick throw in there and Matt is doing the best he can to try to stop that play. So I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Harbaugh said. “I think Matt made a tackle. He was scrambling to try to catch up with that route as best as he could to make the tackle on (Cobb).”
Elam wasn’t penalized for the hit, and there was no reason to penalize him, since the hit was legal. However, Cobb is just the latest player to be felled by a low tackle that may be the unintended consequence of the league levying heavy fines on defensive players for blows to the head.
Asked about the play again Tuesday and Harbaugh’s response, Rodgers acknowledged the Ravens’ position but stood by his.
“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, that’s what’s great about the first amendment, the United States of America and the Constitution. So I respect that,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com Tuesday. “Again, I thought the conversation I had with James was a very interesting one because I may have not understood how much they think about the rules and how difficult it is for them to find that target area. And I respected what he said. I didn’t have to agree with it, but I still think you can respect opinion even if you don’t agree with it.
“That being said, I think there were multiple plays in the game, in other games that I saw in some of the highlights where guys had limited amount of time and were still able to hit their target area. We’re professional athletes, we have great body control, that’s why we’re in the NFL. And I thought there was ample time to find a proper target area.”
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