Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers appears to have avoided serious injury when he banged his right hand during Saturday’s game against the Seahawks and that apparently wasn’t his only close call of the night.
Chargers offensive linemen reacted strongly to what they say was an attempt by Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark to punch Rivers after the quarterback was sacked by Jordan Hill in the second quarter. A scrum broke out after the play and Chargers tackle King Dunlap was given a 15-yard penalty for yanking Clark out of the pile.
“That guy was on top of Philip, and that’s our quarterback,” Dunlap said, via U-T San Diego. “I protect the quarterback at all costs.”
Video of the play shows Rivers holding onto Clark’s jersey after the sack and it’s hard to see what else might have gone on to elicit the strong reaction from the Chargers. After the game, Clark was asked about the incident (but not the allegation that he tried to punch Rivers) and said Richard Sherman told him he has to avoid them even if this one didn’t result in a penalty against Seattle.
“Man this game, it’s a lot of emotions is involved,” Clark said, via the Seattle Times. “I’m a real emotional player but there are ways you react and ways you don’t react. You’ve got to be smart in this game. That was something Sherm [Richard Sherman] was telling me afterwards, that whole thing, even though I didn’t get called for anything, just to avoid situations like that.”
The Seahawks drafted Clark in the second round despite a domestic violence arrest that led to his dismissal from the Michigan team last November. The charge was downgraded to disorderly conduct as part of a plea arrangement in April.