Can you say whiplash?
I'm guessing Victor Cruz can after taking a jarring hit from Ryan Clark during Sunday's game between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. If you haven't seen the hit in question, here's a peek below.
The hit was flagged as a blow to the head, which obviously was not the case, and the Giants were given a crucial first down and went on to score a touchdown. That was a pretty big deal, considering the play in question was a third-down attempt.
I still think this could have been called as "unnecessary roughness." The play was clearly over for Cruz after the ball was defensed in front of him before Clark absolutely cleaned his clock.
Now, you could make the argument this was a bang-bang play, but had Clark been watching the play rather than headed on a beeline straight for Cruz, he would have had plenty of time to pull up and avoid the contact.
Here's a different angle on the play.
After the hit, Cruz lay limp on the field for a few minutes, and it appeared to be either a head or neck injury. After watching his body recoil after Clark's hit, neither would have been surprising.
Luckily, Cruz was able to return to the game and the prognosis was bruised ribs, certainly better than what the injury appeared to be initially.
I imagine the referees in question will be getting a call from the league office about this missed call, and it raises another debate: Should instant replay be allowed to verify the validity of a ref's call? Should the officials be held to the same reviewing procedure if they blatantly call a play incorrectly?
Clark's hit clearly wasn't a blow to the head, but was it dirty?
It's something to consider moving forward.
As for Cruz, he should be good to go for next week's clash with the Cincinnati Bengals, and after that the team will have a bye, so he should be able to fully recover before a vital Week 12 showdown with the Green Bay Packers.
I think we could all forgive him if he has whiplash on the mind for the next week or so, though.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets aren't afraid to get emotional after a big win.