Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith on Wednesday faintly praised Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for not hitting him as hard as he could while Smith stood prone with a possible concussion after an interception on Sunday, but not before echoing the widely-held NFL sentiment that Burfict is a dirty player.
“It could have been a lot worse watching the video,” Smith said. “That’s the one time. As a dirty of a player as I think he is — he’s a heck of a player — he’s a dirty one, too. He definitely held up. He has some good to him.”
Smith was doubled over and holding his head, a stationary figure in the flat as Bengals cornerback Adam Jones returned Joe Flacco’s second interception of the game, when Burfict ran out of his way to block him.
Burfict was fined $25,000 after the league determined he was targeting injured players’ ankles after tackles against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. He was also fined for hitting a defenseless receiver last year, and striking former Ravens tight end Ryan Taylor, then with the Green Bay Packers, in the groin.
Smith was injured when a crossing route brought he and receiver Marlon Brown, plus the defenders who were covering them, into the same small area. Cornerback Leon Hall, who was trying to follow Brown on a flat route, collided with Smith.
“I was running my slant and as I planted to turn off, his helmet hit me right in the head,” Smith said. “He kind of got me for a little."
Smith insisted that he didn’t have a concussion and said he passed his concussion test. The team left it up to him to return, and he did.
“It was a flash for me,” Smith said. “Some people were like, ‘Well, if there was a flash, it was bright, you had a concussion.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not playing around with a concussion. I passed my physical test. They had that little iPad thing that you do. I was fine. They kind of left it up for me, and I felt fine. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have went back out there for those few plays. I don’t want to be 50 years old and not know what’s going on with my kids and my grandkids.”