MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams was taken to a local hospital Sunday after being on the receiving end of a brutal crack-back block by Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Williams, who suffered a career-threatening neck injury last season, was announced as out for the game shortly after the hit, which came in the second quarter of the Dolphins’ 28-25 victory at Hard Rock Stadium. Landry was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play.
Williams was pursuing Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi when Landry blindsided him. The Bills announced after the game that Williams was taken for a precautionary MRI and traveled with the team back to Buffalo.
“I didn’t see it. I heard about it, and I thought ‘that’s garbage,’ ” Bills center Eric Wood said. “Who knows if he knows he’s had prior neck injuries, but we’ll see if he gets fined more for that than the guys dancing.”
Wood said the Bills watched a video in training camp on exactly that type of situation.
“Our guys, I know on offense, are taught when you have those crack shots, don’t even take it, because it’s going to be a penalty,” he said. “Get in his way, don’t take a shot low, don’t take a shot high, because that’s a penalty. … That’s a dangerous play.”
After the game, Landry said “if I could take that hit back, I would. The guy has a family to feed and this is his livelihood.”
As Williams was coming off the field, Landry went over to apologize.
“Just tell him to get better, keep his head up,” he said. “You never want to see that happen to anybody, especially in this game, this game that we love.”
Asked whether he thought it was a dirty play, Landry said “call it what you want. It’s football.”
Fellow Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills then took up for his teammate.
“Don't try to make it that. It's not a dirty play,” he said. “He's playing football. ... We're out there playing ball and Jarvis plays harder than anyone on the field. He's just out there playing. It happens. A bang-bang play."
Bills coach Rex Ryan said he did not see the play.
“I hope it wasn’t cheap,” he said. “That Landry, I have a ton of respect for that kid. I wouldn’t think he would do that, so I hope that wasn’t the case.”
Emotions ran high the rest of the game following the hit on Williams.
“It’s a rivalry. That’s how it’s going to be each time,” linebacker Preston Brown said. “We got them coming to our house, so we’ll see them again.”
Late in the fourth quarter, guard Richie Incognito and a Dolphins defensive lineman were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a scrum that started following Reggie Bush’s touchdown run. Bush appeared to fumble at the goal line, and Incognito jumped on the ball before everyone else piled on.
“The next thing you know I’m at the bottom of a pile and everyone was going at it,” said Incognito, who launched the helmet of Dolphins defensive tackle Andre Branch after getting up.
“In the game of football, you're going to have things like that happen,” Branch told the Miami Herald after the game. “You've got to control it more.”