While the New York Giants suffered an upsetting loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Giants star receiver Victor Cruz also suffered some arguable unnecessary roughness.
Steelers defender Ryan Clark was flagged during Sunday’s game for unnecessary roughness on a big hit that could be argued as clean according to NFL rules.
As Eli Manning threw an inaccurate pass intended for a Giants receiver, Clark plowed through an unsuspecting Cruz.
The moments after the hit saw Cruz laid out on the end zone floor, which could be the reason the refs called a flag on the play, considering how severe the hit looked to be. CBS showed Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark's hit on Giants receiver Victor Cruz repeatedly after it happened, looking for answers.
While Clark was eventually given a 15-yard penalty for his hit in the end zone, many NFL insiders are arguing that the defender hit with his shoulder and did not aim for Cruz’s head. The Giants took advantage of the automatic first down and scored a touchdown.
“Clark didn't go for Cruz's head, nor did he use his head to strike the blow. He used his shoulder to hit Cruz in the ribs,” Yahoo Sports columnist Frank Schwab wrote. “Cruz was hurt on the play (he did return soon after) but that doesn't make it illegal.”
On the other hand, Schwab goes on to make light of the fact that, from the video, it’s very clear that Clark was looking to inflict pain on a receiver that wasn't in position to defend himself.
“He honed in on Cruz in the end zone, saw an opportunity to strike when Cruz wasn't looking, and hammered him,” Schwab wrote.
“It's hard to watch Clark through the play and not come to the conclusion that his only intention was to hit a vulnerable receiver who realistically had no chance to catch the ball after Ike Taylor batted it away and had no idea Clark was coming. The hit was, at very least, unnecessary,” he added.
Check out the Victor Cruz hit video and let us know what you think by commenting below!