Though the league will not officially announce their discipline on Ward – who delivered a penalty-inducing hit on rookie wide receiver Jordan Shipley this past Sunday - until Friday, it has been reported that the hard-hitting rookie was docked $15,000 for the play in question. Ward, who currently is among the top 10 in the NFL in solo tackles and has already earned a reputation as a fierce defender, but he stands firmly by his initial word that the hit was not intended with malice.
“I just tried to make a play and unfortunately he got hurt,” Ward said. “It’s part of the violent game we play. If you play that position, it kind of comes with the territory.”
A fellow rookie and former teammate of Shipley, quarterback Colt McCoy seemed to side with his new teammate and the game of football stating that any time a wide receiver goes across the middle of the field, hits like the one Ward delivered is a possibility.
Thankfully, for the rookie Ward, his head coach Eric Mangini came to his defense after the game was complete. While Mangini hopes that Ward is congnizant of the rules that forbid helmet-to-helmet hits, he does not want the second-rounder to pull up at all when it comes to his aggressive nature. Mangini also stuck up for Ward when it came to the Bengal name-calling mentioned above.
“T.J. isn’t a dirty guy,” said Mangini on Monday. “He’s not a dirty guy. He’s a young guy. He’s an aggressive guy and he’s an inexperienced guy, but he’s not a dirty guy.”
Unfortuntely, for Ward, he’s also a guy that’s now out $15,000.
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)