Bengals' Taylor blasts 'reckless' criticism of LB Wilson for Ravens injuries
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor showed support for linebacker Logan Wilson, who's been heavily criticized for his tackle on Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews and other plays that resulted in injuries during the Week 11 matchup.
"It's kind of been brought to my attention, the narrative that's out there right now, which I think is completely reckless," Taylor said, according to ESPN's Ben Baby. "He plays the game the right way. I think some people have gotten ahead of themselves, labeling him a certain way. It's frustrating to see that because I know what the guy is about. And I know that he's trying to play the game the right way."
Wilson - a former third-round pick who's in his fourth season with Cincy - used a hip-drop tackle to stop Andrews in the first quarter of Thursday's game. Andrews went down on the play and is expected to miss the remainder of the season after reportedly suffering a cracked fibula and an ankle ligament injury.
Lamar Jackson also hurt his ankle after being tackled by Wilson later in the game, but the Baltimore quarterback was able to return to the contest minutes later and lead his team to a 34-20 victory. Wilson then had a fourth-quarter tackle on wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the open field that resulted in Beckham walking off the field holding his shoulder. The star wideout didn't return but said postgame he was fine.
"It's unfortunate any time a player gets injured," Taylor added. "But (Wilson is) a guy I'm proud to coach and proud to be a part of this team. Frustrating and a little bit maddening when you see the narrative about him. That's not the case at all. He's a guy just trying to help the team win."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh wasn't a fan of Wilson's tackle on Andrews.
"Was it even necessary in that situation?" Harbaugh said.
Hip-drop tackles have been a topic around the NFL. The players' association released a statement in March asking the league's competition committee not to ban it, explaining such a measure would be "unfair to players and unrealistic to implement," according to Baby.
In October, an NFL official at the league's owners meetings presented data showing that hip-drop tackles had 25 times the injury risk of a normal tackle.
"It's an unforgiving behavior and one we need to try to define and get it out of the game," Jeff Miller, the NFL's vice president of health and safety, said about the situation.