Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was angry about a second-quarter hit that knocked wide receiver Amari Cooper of the Raiders 21-14 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
With 4:40 seconds left to go in the first half, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr targeted Cooper over the middle only to see him knocked unconscious by a brutal hit to the head and neck area by Broncos safety Darian Stewart.
While Stewart was eventually flagged for unnecessary roughness — though analysts covering the game questioned the flag — Del Rio didn’t like the hit one bit.
Big hit by Stewart and Amari Cooper was left motionless on the ground. scary…. pic.twitter.com/PdoUsRDiD5
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) November 26, 2017
“It was a vicious hit,” Del Rio said. “The kind we’re trying to remove from our game, quite frankly. You see less and less of those. I’m sure the league will take a hard look at it. Those are the kinds of impact hits that don’t need to be a part of our game right now. The guy is clearly defenseless and got targeted right in the head. There’s a chance to hit in the strike zone and be somewhere else and not be there like that.”
A cart came onto the field to take Cooper off but the receiver, who appeared to be knocked out in the immediate aftermath of the play, walked off the field with help. He was later ruled out with a concussion.
When Cooper went out, the Raiders had already lost Michael Crabtree, who was ejected for fighting with Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib.
“Anytime I throw a ball and I feel like I had anything to do with it, it rips my heart out,” said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. “I’m not even going to lie, I had to hold back the emotions of him getting hit and thinking it was my fault. The way the linebacker played it, I had to throw it where I had to throw it. But anytime he gets hit, I feel terrible.”
Carr said center Rodney Hudson had to shake him out of it.
“[Hudson] saw it on my face and said, ‘Hey, man. Shake it off. We gotta win this game.’ I was like, ‘You’re right. I’ll be good. But that’s my brother.’
“I hope that he will be OK. I know he will — I talked to him.”