NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Nick Chubb's season was cut drastically short after the Browns running back suffered a knee injury during Monday's matchup against the Steelers that will require surgery and keep him sidelined for the year. And now the player who delivered the blow is speaking about it and the recent backlash he's received for the low hit. Pittsburgh safety Minkah Fitzpatrick spoke to reporters on Thursday and emphasized the unintentional results of the hit. 

"It's very unfortunate. It's a tough, tough injury," Fitzpatrick said, via ESPN. "Unfortunately, part of the game that we play. I know there's people that (thought I) had ill will behind the tackle. It's not the case whatsoever. I'm a guy that's a competitor who's going to go out there and play the game. I'm chippy. I'm edgy, of course, but I'm not a dirty player. I'm not going to sit here and defend my character. I know the type of player I am. Chubb knows the type of player I am. I've played against him a bunch in the past. Five years, two times a year. I love competing against him. He brings the best out of me, and I bring the best out of him."

Fitzpatrick did go low when attempting to tackle Chubb in the second quarter but, looking at the play with the naked eye, it doesn't point to any malice on the part of the safety. He was merely trying to take down arguably the best running back in the NFL before he barreled into the end zone. 

"No chance that I would ever try to purposefully injure somebody. Unfortunate event," he said. "We play a physical game. People get hurt, and you know, people sit behind a screen and tell me how I shoulda done it or what they would have done and they've never played the game. It's a fast game. Things happen.

"Like I said, it's an unfortunate event. Praying for Chubb. I talked to him briefly as he was on the ground. Just let him know that it wasn't intentional. I was just trying to tackle him – make a football play." 

He also added that if folks are telling him to tackle Chubb high then "they've never tackled Nick Chubb before," acknowledging the back's power and ability to mow down any would-be tacklers with relative ease.

As for Fitzpatrick, who also left this game and was checked into a local hospital due to a chest injury, he has since been released and his scans were negative, which provides optimism that he will be fine going forward for Pittsburgh.