Josh Cribbs walks off field despite big collision on punt return


Browns receiver and return man Josh Cribbs walked off the field after a brutal but legal hit on a punt return in Baltimore.

Cribbs lowered his head as he returned the ball into a group of Ravens and was sandwiched, with one Raven hitting him from his left and knocking his helmet off, and then another Raven hitting him from his right and knocking him to the turf, causing the back of Cribbs’ head — with no helmet — to crash into the ground.

To add insult to injury, Cribbs fumbled, and as players scrambled for the loose ball, he took a cleat to the face. None of the hits were dirty or malicious, Cribbs was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Amazingly, although Cribbs appeared to have been knocked unconscious and players from both teams wore concerned looks on their faces as they gathered around him in prayer, after a couple of minutes he got up and walked off the field looking dazed but not too badly hurt. He walked to the locker room, and although we certainly shouldn’t expect to see him back on the field tonight, he was telling the Browns’ trainers that he’s OK.

41 responses to “Josh Cribbs walks off field despite big collision on punt return

  1. If that were Harrison, 100K fine. But its the Ravens who have gotten away with hits in the past year. (reemmber the hit on hines ward or the busting of Ben’s nose). He is not defenseless WR and i normally agree it’s not a penalty. But the refs have been erring on such calls a lot and been calling such hits on runs after catches or running plays.

  2. “To add insult to injury, Cribbs fumbled, and as players scrambled for the loose ball, he took a cleat to the face.”

    And if that’s not enough, as he was walking off, he took an arrow to the leg.

  3. If that was last week, this place would be in an uproar about how the players are going to get hurt because of the refs. Defenseless player who had his head targeted, yet no call. That should be exactly the type of hit that gets you fined or suspended.

  4. hope he’s okay.

    anyone know why this play was reviewed? it wasn’t a scoring play, no coaches seemed to challenge the play, and it wasn’t in the last two minutes of the first or second half.

    i understand that the play would have been blown dead once the player loses his helmet. But if the ref’s didn’t blow the play dead at that moment and let the play finish, why would they automatically review the play after?

  5. Unbelievable that you are defending that as clean and not malicious. As an unbiased observer, that is exactly the type of hit that needs to be removed from the game.

  6. how was that a fumble if when Cribbs helmet comes off play is automatically dead?

    If the play is dead, how are you allowed to scramble to recover the fumble?

  7. Don’t they review all change of possession plays? I don’t get to watch any of the games thanks to my work schedule so I don’t really know.

  8. Glad to see he’s alright. Almost as miraculous as Joe Flacco not being at fault for over-throwing his recievers in pressure situations.

  9. strctlylo …. all turnovers are reviewed by the booth.

    What I want to know is why they waited until Baltimore was lined up before reviewing it? They had the entire time that Cribbs was being looked at, but that wasn’t enough time?

  10. I hope Cribbs is ok. This game, like the previous nine, is very hard to watch. Please, Mr. Haslam, do something to give us hope.

  11. @travishenryskid

    I didn’t know the “defenseless receiver” term was expanded to include a return man running with the ball.

    … idiot.

  12. You spineless, less-than-a-man clowns who would scab and break a picket line are embarrassing excuses for grown men. If you are indeed one. Anyone who doesn’t support unions has to be half a british cigarette.

  13. strctlylo says:
    Sep 27, 2012 9:06 PM

    Good question on the review. It also turns out that the regular refs do not increase player safety. Apparantly the ref decided not to throw himself in front of Cribbs to protect the player.

    As a side note, neither did they throw a flag on the injury.

  14. And yeah, I’m talking about those who keep making jokes about the impact of the real refs commanding the respect of the players who push the envelope into dirty play, when they were clearly doing so with the scabs.

  15. Play was reviewed because it was a turnover. All turnovers are automatically reviewed. A second look was needed because his helmet may have come off before he fumbled the ball. If it had, the play is automatically dead, and the Browns would’ve retained the ball.

  16. Wow what a clean hit shoulder to helmet on a kick returner is not a defenseless receiver, keep on hating. Real refs or replacement, hit was a good one, and clean.

  17. “You spineless, less-than-a-man clowns who would scab and break a picket line are embarrassing excuses for grown men. If you are indeed one. Anyone who doesn’t support unions has to be half a british cigarette.”

    Mrs. Wright 212 – a real sassy broad.

  18. It is sick for the NFL to give the ball to an opposing defense after an obvious Illegal hit to the head. And if that wasn’t an illegal hit to the head, then there is even more wrong with the NFL.

  19. Please, people…stop with the stupid “glad the regular ref’s are back or someone might get hurt” comments. I don’t think anyone (other than idiots) believes the regular officials are perfect. And everyone (other than idiots), realizes the games will be officiated better. The flow of games will be quicker, and the only 3 and a half hour games will be because overtime. The sheer number of horrible calls will be greatly reduced. The players will respect the real officials much more, and will be less likely to engage in fights/retaliation.
    Watching the replacement ref’s has made me realize just how difficult it is to officiate NFL games…and how important quality ref’s are to the game.

  20. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Sep 27, 2012 9:34 PM
    These woe-is-me Steeler fans always whining. Harrison is DIRTY. GET OVER IT. It was a clean hit.

    And they reviewed to confirm the fumble.

    Harrison isn’t dirty, he just doesn’t play for your team.

  21. bigbluefan11 says:
    Sep 27, 2012 9:40 PM
    There was a helmet to helmet hit on the play. The regular ref missed it. Wonder if the replacement refs would have caught it?
    Shoulder-to-helmet. Watch it again. Or stop pretending.

  22. i was more suprised by the lack of conversation/controvesy in regards to dead ball rule when a player’s helmet comes off. i’m sure there is more definitive film out there than i have access to, but to me it appears that the helmet coming completely off occurs just a split second before he had definitly lost control of the ball. its probably just me, and i am not 100% positive what the call would be if it were determined that the loss of helmet & loss of possesion occured simultaneouly. That being said, common sense tells me that cribbs lost possession when he lost conscioussness, and he lost consciousness receiving the hit that snatched his helmet right off of his head. you’d think the correct ruling regarding correct protocol when a player is absolutely defenseless(unconscious), would be more clear given all of the attention to player safery

  23. Anyone care to explain how the “real refs” being back prevented him from getting hurt?
    Would the hits have felt harder just because the replacements were on the field?
    Those are some of the dumbest comments I’ve read, I guess we could have expected Ravens players to have run up to Cribbs and started stomping him in the head after the whistle if the replacements were out there, right?
    Real or replacement, it doesn’t mattter, players get hurt. Just ask Russell Okung about how the real refs prevent injury, his 2011 season ended on an illegal hit by Trent Cole that wasn’t flagged, Cole was later fined for it.

  24. I for one did notice the difference in the way the game was called…. yes the regular officials controlled the game better than the replacements did…. all that pushing and shoving after the play was not gone but greatly reduced… the regulars let it be known that they were not going to stand for it…. good call on their part…

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