Philadelphia clinched the NFC East division title this past season. Then, the fourth-seed Eagles faced the Seahawks in the NFC wild-card game. Poised for a comeback, quarterback Carson Wentz managed to stay healthy all season. He’d sat out part of the 2017 season due to injuries and watched Nick Foles lead his team to Super Bowl history.
So 2019 was supposed to be Wentz’s year. Instead, Jadeveon Clowney took his chance away with what some are calling an intentional hit.
Jadeveon Clowney is a physically dominant NFL player
Now in his sixth NFL season, Clowney plays defensive end for Seattle. Since 2014, he’d been with the Houston Texans. Once their No. 1 overall draft pick, he was traded in 2019 for third-round pick DE/OLB Barkevious Ming and linebacker Jacob Martin.
Clowney has become a physically dominant NFL player. In 2015, he recorded 40 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The following year, he had 52 tackles and was awarded First-Team All-Pro. Clowney ranked 32nd among the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018. Now, he’s making a name for himself with the Seahawks — but some call him a dirty player.
Why Eagles fans are furious
Less than halfway into the first quarter of the NFC Wild-Card game, Clowney made a helmet-to-helmet tackle. As Wentz went down, Clowney hit him in the back of the neck and his head slammed into the turf.
The medics removed Wentz from the game as he began complaining of not feeling right and having momentary memory loss. He was having trouble walking and immediately taken into the tunnel so medics could treat him for concussion protocol. Fans were outraged that a penalty wasn’t called.
Eagles left tackle Jason Peters saw Clowney go head-on with Wentz and called it a “late hit and a dirty play,” reports Sports Illustrated. Refs called it incidental helmet contact and didn’t throw a flag. The NFL reviewed the play and Clowney did not receive a fine. Wentz was out for the rest of the game; the Eagles lost to the Seahawks; and their season ended on a sour note.
How Eagles fans feel about Jadeveon Clowney
Eagles fans are notorious for being a rough crowd. After all, they did throw snowballs at Santa Claus. The City of Brotherly Love wasn’t feeling much love for Clowney after he took out Wentz. After the controversial hit, Clowney told reporters, “There might be death threats … from the worst fans in the world.”
Diehard Eagles fans did not take kindly to his words and have flooded the internet with comments of outrage. The league hasn’t heard about any death threats, but an NFL fan started a Change.org petition asking that Clowney receive a fine. Fans are furious that Wentz landed in a hospital bed with no repercussions to Clowney for his actions.
Clowney denies he purposely made the hit, saying, “I was just playing fast, and he turned like he was running the ball and I was trying to get him down. It was a bang-bang play. I don’t intend to hurt anybody.” Fans don’t believe him.
Is Jadeveon Clowney a dirty player?
Wentz isn’t the first player to fall victim to Clowney’s unnecessary roughness. In October 2019, Clowney pushed Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield after an incomplete pass to Jarvis Landry. The Seahawk received a penalty for roughing the passer and a fine of $21,056.
In November 2018, Clowney got a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty and a $40,110 fine for a late hit to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. While playing for the Texans, he received a fine for a late hit on Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
In his last season with the Titans, Clowney was out for an injury and still managed to get a penalty from the sidelines, reports Saturday Down South. In a game against the Titans, Clowney got into a dispute with tight end Luke Stocker and received a fine of $10,026 for taunting.
With the second-most penalties in the NFL in 2018, Clowney’s penalties break down as follows: five for defensive offside, three neutral zone infraction, two roughing the passer, two for defensive holding, and one count each of encroachment and taunting. In the 2019 season, he received a total of 12 penalties.
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