Just when things appeared to be going as great as they could have been for the Tennessee Titans, they lost their starting quarterback to a hip injury in week five against the New York Jets. Jake Locker was hit by both Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson of the Jets, causing him to be taken off onto a stretcher. Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped in and will take over Locker’s duties until he is healthy.
The ensuing events within the NFL mandated fines coming for Coples and Wilkerson. Whether or not they believe they were deserving of such action is completely irrelevant now, though, because the least likely candidate has stepped forward to support them.
“I didn’t feel like that on the field, and after watching it, you know, it wasn’t anything malicious, I didn’t feel like,” Locker said to the media addressing whether the hit was worthy of a fine. “I kind of got bounced into the second guy. I didn’t feel like they were out to get me, no.”
For Locker to come forth and answer that question in such a way is nothing short of classy — just plain classy. It would have been so easy for him to go in the opposite direction, blaming the defenders for the position he’s in at the moment. But, instead he took the high road.
In a league where there are more fines being given out than ever before it seems, Locker is a breath of fresh air. There is absolutely a difference between a targeted, malicious hit and a clean, fair, textbook hit. It appears as though Locker can tell the difference.
Maybe in his spare time while rehabbing, Locker could let Mr. Roger Goodell know about his feelings on the matter. Goodell and the league have been pretty strict thus far in the season and don’t look to stop the fining anytime soon.