After Sunday’s Falcons-Jets game, Atlanta running back Michael Turner openly wondered whether New York safety Jim Leonhard had intentionally targeted his injured ankle on a hit that knocked Turner out of the game.
On Monday Leonhard said he did no such thing, and Jets coach Rex Ryan said he was upset at the mere suggestion.
“It’s a ridiculous statement,” Ryan said. “Michael Turner is 250 pounds and Jim Leonhard is about a buck 90. The only thing they have in common is their ankles are the same size. You’ve got to tackle what you can tackle. [If he tackles Turner] up top, we’re talking about why the guy ran him over. He’s a running back. He’s going to get hit.”
Ryan’s comments were echoed — in less strident terms — by Falcons coach Mike Smith, who said he thought there was “no ill will” in Leonhard’s hit.