With the Chiefs losing safety Eric Berry for the full season after tearing an ACL during a Week One blowout loss to the Bills, the debate has now turned to the question of whether the hit that tore the ligament should result in a fine for Bills receiver Stevie Johnson.
Berry’s camp, we’re told, definitely believes that Johnson should be fined for diving helmet first at Berry’s lower legs while trying to throw a block ahead of the ball carrier. The video clearly shows that Johnson hit Berry low.
Johnson disagrees. Strongly.
Asked via Twitter by “@Mr_Hoosier” whether “God [made] you take a cheap shot on our best player,” Johnson said this: “man shutup U clown ILL NEVER CHEAPSHOT A PLAYER ON THE FIELD! IDC if he my Enemy U Square! Last I checked a cut block was legal!”
Actually, Johnson is right. There’s nothing illegal about diving at a guy’s knees in the open field.
That said, most players wish it were illegal. Last year, after a rash of helmet-to-helmet hits heightened everyone’s sensitivity to defenseless players, several players made it clear that they’d rather be hit high than low, since taking a low hit can tear up a knee — and limit or end a career.
Thus, even though Johnson is unlikely to be fined, Johnson could be subject to scorn from his peers.