The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns rivalry produced a controversial moment during their Week 3 Monday Night Football matchup. A tackle by Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick on Browns running back Nick Chubb ended Chubb’s season and sparked debate about player safety.
The Tackle Heard Round the League
In the second quarter, Chubb took a handoff and burst through the line into the secondary. As he fought through a tackle attempt by Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb, Fitzpatrick dove low at Chubb’s knees, taking the running back down. However, Chubb suffered a serious knee injury on the play that required season-ending surgery.
Many criticized Fitzpatrick’s tackle as an unnecessary low hit on a player already wrapped up by a teammate. Fitzpatrick defended himself, saying he had committed to the low tackle before seeing Holcomb on Chubb’s back.
Minkah Fitzpatrick Play’s reactions
|Myles Garrett||“Minkah didn’t do anything illegal. He was playing the game how it was supposed to be played. It was very unfortunate what happened, Nick getting held up but just having, just planting his foot and the hit and all that. That’s not unlike what corners around the league do. This is something that’s very common.”|
|Minkah Fitzpatrick||“No chance that I would ever try and purposely injure somebody, always.”|
|Ryan Clark||“To all of these people who think that what Minkah Fitzpatrick did is dirty — you’re dumb, and you’re soft, and you don’t understand what it’s like to be in that position.”|
|Kevin Stefanski||“Jerome is the lead back. But we have to work through all of those types of things and what Kareem’s ready to do this week, if he’s ready to go this week, and what type of load he can carry and Pierre Strong [Jr.]. So, I think we need to work through all of that. But yes, Jerome is the starter.”|
Fitzpatrick Denies Dirty Play Accusations
Speaking to reporters later in the week, Fitzpatrick strongly denied accusations that the tackle was a deliberately dirty play:
“I’m chippy, I’m edgy, of course, but I’m not a dirty player. I’m not going to sit here and defend my character. I know the type of player I am. Chubb knows the type of player I am.”
He added that he had “no chance” of intentionally trying to injure Chubb and called it an “unfortunate event.”
Browns Move On Without Chubb
The loss of Chubb, one of the NFL’s premier running backs, dealt a major blow to the Browns offense. They responded by re-signing veteran back Kareem Hunt.
Second-year RB Jerome Ford is slated to take over the starting role. When the teams meet again on November 19 in Cleveland, fans will surely have the Fitzpatrick hit on their minds.
- Fitzpatrick tackled Chubb low during the Browns vs. Steelers game.
- Chubb suffered a season-ending knee injury on the play.
- Fitzpatrick defended himself against accusations of a dirty hit.
- Browns replaced Chubb with Kareem Hunt and Jerome Ford.
- Teams face each other again on November 19 in Cleveland.
The controversial tackle sparked debate around player safety and low hits. While deemed legal, some questioned whether it violated the spirit of protecting players. The rematch in Cleveland will reveal if there is lingering bad blood.
Frequently Asked Questions on Minkah Fitzpatrick’s Hit on Nick Chubb
What happened in the play where Nick Chubb got injured?
Nick Chubb took a handoff and ran through the line in the second quarter of the Browns-Steelers game. As Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb wrapped him up, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick dove low at Chubb’s knees for the tackle. Chubb suffered a serious knee injury that ended his season.
Was Minkah Fitzpatrick’s tackle illegal?
No, the tackle was not illegal. Low hits are permitted by NFL rules as long as they don’t violate other rules about hitting defenseless players or hitting below the knees. Fitzpatrick went low but did not appear to violate any rules.
Did Minkah Fitzpatrick intend to injure Nick Chubb?
Fitzpatrick strongly denies that there was any intent to injure in the play. He says he had already committed to the low tackle before seeing that Chubb was wrapped up high. Fitzpatrick defended himself against accusations that it was a deliberately dirty play.
How will the Browns replace Nick Chubb?
The Browns moved quickly to re-sign veteran running back Kareem Hunt after Chubb’s injury. Second-year back Jerome Ford is expected to take over the starting role. The Browns offense will look to rely more heavily on the passing game to make up for the loss of their star rusher.