Sep 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) takes in the crowd as he prepares for a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

After Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome season-ending knee injury as the result of a tackle by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick on Monday night, many have questioned whether the hit was a dirty one.

But while Fitzpatrick has already defended himself, he received some additional support from an unlikely ally on Friday when Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett told reporters that he didn’t believe there was anything nefarious about the play.

“They were playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Garrett told reporters. “It’s very unfortunate what happened, Nick getting held up, just planting his foot, the hit and all that. That’s not unlike what corners around the league do. It’s something that’s very common. We’re not going to do anything to take [Derrick] Henry down. Go after the ball, hit his thigh boards, try to take his legs out and keep the guy safe and healthy. But we’re going to do our best to chop him down as well.”

In a post on Pro Football Talk earlier this week, Mike Florio noted that based on the NFL rulebook, Fitzpatrick’s play was perfectly legal — although he also questioned whether that should be the case. Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Fitzpatrick defended himself against fans who believed the hit was a dirty one.

“I would say, one: They’ve never tackled Nick Chubb before if they’re telling me to go high,” Fitzpatrick said, per James Palmer of the NFL Network. “Two: What I seen was it opened up, it’s goal line. I didn’t see anybody on him. I made the decision as soon as I seen the hole open up and him in the hole to go low.

“It’s very unfortunate. Nick Chubb’s a great player. He makes the game a lot better when he’s playing. Just hope for a speedy recovery.”

[Mary Kay Cabot]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.