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Browns Player Defends Minkah Fitzpatrick Over Tackle on Nick Chubb



Steelers Browns Nick Chubb

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick got blasted by the Cleveland Browns fanbase for causing running back Nick Chubb to suffer a season-ending ACL tear in Week 2 of the 2023 season. It was a clean tackle by Fitzpatrick and nothing about it was intentional. It was just an unfortunate play.

“It’s very unfortunate. It’s a tough, tough injury,” Fitzpatrick said last September. “Unfortunately, part of the game that we play. I know there’s people that (thought I) had ill will behind the tackle. It’s not the case whatsoever.

“I’m a guy that’s a competitor who’s going to go out there and play the game. 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. I’ve played against him a bunch in the past. Five years, two times a year. I love competing against him. He brings the best out of me, and I bring the best out of him.”

Despite Fitzpatrick remarks and even Myles Garrett defending him for the hit, Fitzpatrick was unfairly labeled as a dirty player. One former NFL player even called for him to be suspended.

Browns safety D’Anthony Bell was asked about Fitzpatrick’s hit on Chubb on the My Dawgs Podcast recently, and like Garrett, he thought it wasn’t malicious.

“I don’t think it was a dirty hit ’cause I don’t think he intentionally tried to do that. A lot of people like fans; they ain’t never been in the position where you are in full pads trying to tackle Nick Chubb. You ain’t never been in that position, going through the hole, and you see Nick Chubb right in front of you. That’s not an easy thing to execute. I think he was just trying to make a tackle on Chubb and it ended up happening. I don’t think it was dirty,” Bell explained.

Despite the rivalry, defensive players sympathize with each other because a lot of the basic football plays and actions are being abolished from the game. The recent ban of the hip-drop tackle is the latest example.

“It wasn’t anything illegal,” Garrett said back in September of Fitzpatrick’s tackle. “He was playing the game how it’s supposed to be played. It was very unfortunate what happened. Nick getting held up and just planting his foot, the hit, and all that. That’s not unlike what corners around the league do. It’s something that’s very common.”