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Chuks Okorafor ‘Just Playing Ball’ on Play That Injured Browns LB Anthony Walker

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Steelers OT Chukwuma Okorafor

CLEVELAND — Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Chukwuma Okorafor said he was just playing football on the play that injured Cleveland Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. in Cleveland’s 29-14 win over the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday.

Okorafor was blocking on a shovel pass to Jaylen Warren when he shoved Walker to the ground with a strong left-handed block. Okorafor then dove on the back of Walker as he laid on the ground.

Walker injured his left knee on the play. He laid on the field motionless for a long time after the play before eventually coming to a seated position. He left the field on a cart with an air cast on his left leg. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said that Walker suffered a knee sprain.

Okorafor said he didn’t know that Walker was injured when he chose to jump on him and wasn’t sure how he got hurt.

“I don’t know what happened,” Okorafor said. “I was just playing ball.”

Many on social media decried the hit after the fact as a dirty play.

Okorafor was flagged as an ineligible lineman down field on the play, wiping out a huge gain. He said he wasn’t sure why the penalty was called on the shovel pass and that he’d need to look at the tape to see if he deserved the foul.

The penalty ended up taking the Steelers out of field goal range and they punted two plays later. The Browns scored on the ensuing possession to go ahead by two scores and largely salt the game away.

 

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