The NFL gets a lot of flak and negative publicity for some of the actions of a few players. So it is easy to miss that there are a lot of good guys in the league who try to play the game the right way.
The latest example comes from defensive lineman Domato Peko of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Early in the second half against the Browns, Cleveland had the ball deep in their own end and ran a simple run play to the right. All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas was trailing the play when it suddenly reversed direction right back into him.
As the runner, the tacklers, and Thomas went down in a heap, Peko came in late and hit Thomas pretty good in the back after he was already on the ground.
It was not the worst late hit ever, and the play did not draw a flag, but it probably could have. Still, it is easy to forget that these are large men travelling at fast speeds and we expect them to anticipate the end of the play and stop on a dime.
Not every late hit is malicious.
Well, as it would be, Thomas was mic’d up for the networks and that caught a cool moment a short while later in which Peko came over during a timeout to apologise to Thomas for the hit.
Thomas appreciated the gesture.
Classy all around.
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