Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick did nothing illegal in tackling Browns running back Nick Chubb on Monday night, but he still found himself defending the hit.
Fitzpatrick said this week that he’s “not a dirty player.”
Browns Pro Bowl edge rusher Myles Garrett said the same of Fitzpatrick on Friday.
“Minkah didn’t do anything illegal,” Garrett said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “He was playing the game how it’s supposed to be played. It was very unfortunate what happened — Nick getting held up but just having, just planting his foot and the hit and all that. That’s not unlike what corners around the league do. This is something that’s very common.”
Garrett subscribes to the ‘it’s football’ narrative, and the Browns will have a similar plan the Steelers used against Chubb to tackle Titans running back Derrick Henry this week.
“We’re not going to do anything illegal to take Henry down,” Garrett said. “We’re just going to 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.”
Henry, like Chubb, is hard to bring down as he stands 6 foot 3 and weighs 247 pounds.
“He looks like me,” Garrett said. “He looks like me but one inch shorter and 15 pounds lighter. So, I mean a guy that’s physically impressive. He’s a hell of a football player. [He’s] been doing it at a very high level for a while now. You’ve got to come with a head full of steam and take those legs out, got to go for the ball, got to make sure he doesn’t get those five steps into the ground and keep him off track. Once he’s going downhill to get to that second level, it’s very hard to stop. That’s been that case for all of his career.”
In two starts against the Browns, Henry has 34 carries for 144 yards and one touchdown. He also took a screen pass 75 yards for a touchdown.