Anthony Barr says he’s ‘not a dirty player’ for hit on Aaron Rodgers
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has gotten a lot of heat from fans for his hit on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who broke his collarbone last Sunday courtesy Barr’s arguably late tackle and will likely miss the remainder of the regular season.
Speaking to the press on Friday (via ESPN’s Courney Cronin), Barr defended himself by stating that he had no intention of hurting Rodgers on play:
“By no means was I trying to injure or take out Aaron Rodgers… He’s one of, if not, the best player in this league. I’m not a dirty player. I don’t play dirty. We don’t preach that around here.
“It’s unfortunate, the injury. I hate to see anybody get hurt. It’s a gift and a privilege to be able to play on the field each week, so I would never try and take that away from anybody, let alone one of the best players in our game.”
The road to hell is certainly paved with good — or here, no — intentions.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection addressed the issue days after Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called out Barr for what he saw as a dirty hit on Rodgers. However, in the video below, it really did seem that Barr was already in the act of tackling Rodgers just a split second before Rodgers threw the ball on a rollout.
Former NFL Director of Officiating and current Fox Sports analyst, Mike Pereira, also stated on Twitter that Barr’s hit was indeed legal:
That hit on Rodgers was legal. He was out of the pocket on the run.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) October 15, 2017
Considering that Rodgers is one of the biggest draws in the NFL, it was inevitable that Barr was going to be heavily criticized heavily for putting future Hall of Famer on the shelf. Although the 25-year-old’s comments were very well-meaning, having been fined by the NFL for a headbutt to Packers wide receiver Davante Adams that same game certainly doesn’t help his cause and image.
The Vikings will face the Packers again in Week 16 in Minnesota, with the two NFC North rivals likely set to battle it out for division supremacy.