Rams’ Matthew Stafford calls out Lions player for hit that caused teammate’s torn ACL: ‘You’re dirty as f—‘

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Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford cut short Detroit Lions safety Kirby Joseph's performance in the wild-card game, tight end Tyler Higbee, after suffering a torn ACL and MCL on a low hit. I ended it and granted an exception.

The ball was called dirty by many as Joseph sprinted into Higbee's lap as he tried to catch the ball thrown by Stafford. Replays showed Higbee's knee buckle after Joseph connected, and the veteran tight end immediately grabbed it on the turf as medical staff rushed over.

Stafford, who was microphoned at the game due to his long history with Detroit before joining the Rams, ran up to Joseph and told him what he thought about the ball.


Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams is scheduled to play against the New Orleans Saints on December 21, 2023 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. (Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)

“Hey, that's a good hit. But you're dirty as shit, and you know it. You're dirty as shit. It's on tape. I saw it. It's on tape. It is recorded in.”

The outrage on social media led some fans to find old hits from the second-year safety, including one on Minnesota Vikings tight end TJ Hockenson. It was a similar dive to the leg that led to a torn ACL earlier this season.

There was also a questionable hip drop tackle on rising Rams star Puka Nacua during the game.

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But Lions head coach Dan Campbell defended his players.

“That's how we play football here. Just keep your head up and see what you hit,” Campbell explained to reporters. “That's what I always tell Kirby. Keep your eyes up so you don't hit the top of the helmet. If you hit the spine, you're screwed up there. Look what you hit.”

tyler higbee hits

Tyler Higbee of the Los Angeles Rams is hit by Kirby Joseph of the Lions during the wild card game at Ford Field in Detroit on January 14, 2024. (Gregory Shams/Getty Images)

“He's going for the thigh board, trying to get his head off. That's how we play defense here. We're not dirty. We're hitting.”

Joseph also posted on X to protect himself.

“Everything is serious…. This game we are playing is very dangerous…. I pray for my brother and his family, no one will get hurt physically or hurt their career. I don’t mean to. I’ve been a MF dog since I left with mommy.” All you wombs and nuns here please take that away from me. ”

Matthew Stafford stands

Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams stands on the sideline during the national anthem before the wild card game against the Lions on January 14, 2024 in Detroit. (Kevin Savitas/Getty Images)


The Lions ultimately won the wild card race 24-23 and advanced to the divisional round, but Stafford and the Rams had their season over.



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