Browns safety Grant Delpit came to the defense of Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is receiving criticism for his low hit on running back Nick Chubb that ended Chubb’s season. Delpit understands where Fitzpatrick is coming from in that moment and does not believe there was obvious dirty intent from the All-Pro safety. As a safety who has tackled running backs like that in the hole, Delpit knows there are a lot of moving parts to each play and tackle.
“It’s football, man,” Delpit said. “I can’t say what I would’ve done in that moment, but I’m sure he didn’t mean to do any harm to Nick or anything like that. It was a crazy play. Plays can go a thousand ways every play. You never know. It’s tough playing this sport sometimes.”
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 21, 2023
Fitzpatrick’s rationale is that Chubb had far more weight on him, forcing him to go low. He made that decision the moment that Nick Chubb went through the hole, and he claims he did not see Cole Holcomb bringing him down before he went low to help make the tackle.
“I would say, one: they’ve never tackled Nick Chubb before if they’re telling me to go high,” Fitzpatrick said. “Two: What | seen was it opened up, it’s goal line. I didn’t see anybody on him. I made the decision as soon as I saw the hole open up and him in the hole to go low. You can tell me how to tackle him low, but it’s a fast game. It’s a game (where) you make decisions in milliseconds. Can’t really control what happens after you choose to make your decision. I already chose to go low. Somebody got on his back when I was going low, and what happened happened. There’s nothing I really would do differently. Again, like I said earlier, it’s very unfortunate. Nick Chubb’s a great player. He makes the game a lot better when he’s playing. Just hope for a speedy recovery.”
When claims about the intent of the hit were brought up, Fitzpatrick immediately went through his intentions. Holcomb had the same rationale that Fitzpatrick did on the hit postgame. But the fact is that he does not believe he is dirty. Now, there are calls to make a hit like that illegal in the NFL. Multiple former Steelers defended Fitzpatrick, citing the rules and situation on the goal line as factors that forced him to go low.