Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson’s hip-drop tackle caused an injury that knocked Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews out for the season. Later in the first quarter, Wilson landed on Lamar Jackson’s ankle, leaving him hobbling. Later in the game, Odell Beckham Jr.’s shoulder was in pain from a hit by Wilson.
That doesn’t make Wilson a dirty player, Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. Taylor was done with his press conference on Friday when he stopped and turned back to the microphone because he wanted to defend his player against a “reckless” narrative that he heard about due to those hits.
He said it was “frustrating and a little bit maddening” to hear about some of the things being said about Wilson after the game.
“Logan is everything we want to be about, the way he plays the game,” Taylor said. “He plays with a toughness and a physicality that I think is important for that position. It has kind of been brought to my attention the narrative that is out there now, which I think is completely reckless.
“He plays the game the right way. I think some people have gotten ahead of themselves to label him a certain way. It’s frustrating to see that because I know what the guy is about and I know he’s trying to play the game the right way.”
Zac Taylor was ready to wrap the press conference until he defended Logan Wilson against a “reckless” national narrative that he’s dirty for knocking out 3 Ravens pic.twitter.com/8C6rRKDlo1
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) November 17, 2023
Wilson wasn’t penalized for any of the hits. The hip-drop tackle is controversial and there was another round of debates on it after Andrews suffered a season-ending ankle injury, but it isn’t illegal (yet, the NFL will look into the play in the offseason). It’s hard to say the hits that hurt Jackson or Beckham were even debatable; they were just normal football plays.
But when one player is responsible for a season-ending injury to a star and two other hits on other stars that caused more minor injuries in the same game, he could get a reputation. Taylor wanted to end that talk right away.