Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Chukwuma Okorafor was called out for a cheap shot at injured Cleveland Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., but he doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong.
Walker went down with a knee injury in the second half against the Steelers after awkwardly falling after a block from Okorafor. As he lay face down on the grass, Okorafor jumped onto Walker, who appeared to be in visible pain.
“I have no idea how the referees missed that obvious penalty against a defenseless and injured Anthony Walker. Shortly afterwards he drove away with an injury to his right knee.” Fox 8 News’ John Sabol tweeted. “Dirty, wild league game by Steelers’ Chukwuma Okorafor. Terrible look. Sm.”
He wasn’t the only one calling out the piece. Okorafor was highlighted on social media but the Steelers lineman insisted after the game that he was just doing his job.
“I do not know what happened” said Okorafor. “I only played ball.”
Okorafor was tagged in the game, but because he was an ineligible man in bottom field. While offensive linemen are called upon to finish their blocks, Walker was zero threat to play with his face on the turf.
Browns head coach This was announced by Kevin Stefanski Walker is dealing with a sprained knee after the game, but a timeline for his return to the field is still uncertain. If he fails, it will be a huge loss for the Browns in the middle of their defense and in the dressing room.
“It’s tough because you know he wanted to be out there. he wants to play He’s our captain, our guy in the middle,” said Browns safety John Johnson III after the game. “With an injury like that and being transported away, you never know what’s really going on. I hope he’s fine and can go back as soon as possible.”
After Walker was out, Jacob Phillips took over and had a solid game. The Steelers managed just three points in the second half and Phillips led the Browns with seven tackles in the game, adding a sack and defending a pass.
“I was really looking forward to Jacob over the past year as we discussed. Obviously, that’s where A-Walk started, but I wouldn’t call that an indictment against Jacob. I think he’s a really, really good football player and he’s working so hard on this thing,” said Stefanski. “It’s a big loss for Anthony Walker if this is a longer term thing because we know what he brings to the football side but he’s a captain and he’s a leader. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and definitely hoping for the best for No. 5.”
The Browns defense needed an overall boost after what happened against the Jets in Week 2, giving up two late touchdowns to secure a seemingly assured win. Despite a somewhat shaky first half, the Browns conceded just 308 total yards in the matchup and even added defensive value in the final game of the game to thwart the 29-17 win to 2-1.
“We’ve seen that a lot where we really come out of the second half or half and really turn off the lads. It was just about doing it in the fourth quarter for that second half,” said Browns star pass rusher Myles Garrett. “I think that’s where we took the next step tonight, where we were really on our Ps and Qs and making sure we weren’t giving any leaky wins or big plays. Everyone communicated and there were no mistakes either front or back.”
Garrett is still searching for the franchise sack record. He’s one away from setting Clay Matthews Jr.’s mark but was held without one for the first time this season against the Steelers.