Ravens rookie Odafe Oweh knocked Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of the game Sunday, but indicated Wednesday it was not his intent.
Bridgewater sustained a concussion on a third-down play just before halftime of Denver’s 23-7 loss to Baltimore. Facing third-and-10, Oweh charged through a clear path directly into the chest of Bridgewater and delivered a blow to his upper torso and head just as the quarterback released a pass that landed incomplete.
The impact dislodged Bridgewater’s helmet and forced him out of the game. Broncos backup Drew Lock replaced Bridgewater in the second half.
“There was no ill intent,” Oweh said, via ESPN. “Our mentality is to bring physicality and do everything that we got to do safely, no penalties. I wish Teddy prosperity. I wasn’t trying to do anything dirty.”
Oweh’s hit on Bridgewater appeared to have qualified for a roughing the passer penalty, as he made contact with Bridgewater’s head and neck area. A flag was not thrown on the play, which followed a second-down play in which Ravens safety Chuck Clark slammed into receiver Diontae Spencer, knocking him out for the remainder of the game.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said he thought flags should have been thrown on both plays.
“They should’ve been called, obviously, but they weren’t,” Fangio said. “I sent a video in to the officiating office during the [last week], showing them similar hits that [opposing defenses] had and have gotten away with. And it continues. So, you can see sending videos to the officiating office can be fruitless at times.”
Bridgewater entered the concussion protocol and remains in it, though it is possible the quarterback returns to practice as early as Thursday. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Bridgewater was feeling better, and the QB returned to team meetings and lifted weights on Wednesday. Spencer, meanwhile, is considered day-to-day with a chest injury.
If Bridgewater can’t go, it’ll mean Lock will get his first start of the 2021 season after losing the preseason competition for the starting job. Denver faces Pittsburgh on Sunday.
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