Thursday night’s Philadelphia Eagles-Green Bay Packers game was a particularly violent one even by NFL standards; two players were taken off the field on stretchers after hits to the head.
One of the men who caused an opponent to fall to the turf in a heap, Philadelphia’s Derek Barnett, may not face a harsh penalty.
Report: Barnett won’t be suspended
On the Packers’ first offensive snap, running back Jamaal Williams caught a pass from Aaron Rodgers and gained 11 yards.
With two other Eagles players trying to bring Williams down, Barnett came in and drilled Williams helmet-to-helmet, hitting the running back on the side of his helmet.
Barnett was flagged for unnecessary roughness, and though he was not ejected for the play, it would not have been a surprise if he had been.
Derek Barnett just injured Jamaal Williams. Scary hit pic.twitter.com/IHQP0d5pFI— Jordan Dajani (@JordanDajani) September 27, 2019
On Friday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Barnett “could be fined,” but that a suspension is not being considered for the third-year defensive end.
Schefter’s first tweet said Barnett would “likely be spared suspension because at the last moment he turned and hit Williams with his shoulder.”
We’re not sure what video anyone looked at to believe that Barnett hit Williams with his shoulder, as that is clearly helmet-to-helmet contact, and it’s a hit the NFL supposedly has been trying to get out of the game.
‘Only thing hurting is my pride’
Williams posted an update on Instagram on Friday, saying he was doing OK.
“Appreciate it everyone for checking on me, I’m Gucci [good]...only thing hurting right now is my pride for not being able to finish the game with my team. It’s gonna be all good,” he wrote.
Williams also asked for prayers for Eagles’ cornerback Avonte Maddox, who was the other player taken off the field on a stretcher. Maddox was injured after an accidental hit from his own teammate; he was taken to a Green Bay hospital but was able to fly back to Philadelphia with his teammates.
“Wish nothing but blessings and a speedy recovery for you bro,” Williams posted.
Barnett: ‘I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody’
As Williams was loaded onto the stretcher and wheeled off the field on Thursday night, Barnett did approach him and seemed remorseful.
On Friday, Barnett insisted it was a football play.
“I was running to the ball and I didn’t hear a whistle,” he said, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I went in and tried to tackle him because we’re playing football.
“I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody because it’s our livelihood. So I don’t wish [harm] upon nobody. And I heard he’s doing all right, he’s good. I told him my apologies. He knows it’s a violent sport.”
More from Yahoo Sports: