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Harrison Smith addresses Kerby Joseph hits, O-linemen ramming into players

Smith says the NFL encourages both types of hits.
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Offensive linemen who power their 300-plus-pound bodies into a pile in a fight for extra yards are the subject of criticism from Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith. 

The topic was under the microscope after Monday's Bills-Steelers playoff game in which Steelers star rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. suffered a concussion when he was hit from behind by Bills offensive lineman Connor McGovern. 

Porter Jr. was making a tackle after a catch by Stefon Diggs, and as Porter and Diggs were on their way to the ground McGovern barreled into Porter Jr. from behind. The rookie cornerback was taken to the blue medical tent and didn't return to the game. 

"This type of hit is encouraged in oline rooms," Smith wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, "it won’t be flagged as long as it occurs near a ball carrier fighting for yardage.

"O-line/TEs hit like this in every game. Not hating on offense, I get trying to help the ball carrier advance. However modern era gotta be addressed."

Smith also offered his opinion on defensive players hitting receivers low, specifically Lions safety Kerby Joseph's low hits that caused torn ACL injuries to Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson and Rams tight end Tyler Higbee. 

Smith said he doesn't like the hits Joseph made on Hockenson and Higbee, but said the NFL's rules encourage players to go low rather than high when they're speeding in for a tackle. 

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Joseph's hit on Hockenson on Dec. 24 caused the star tight end to suffer torn ACL and MCL injuries in his right knee. The safety's hit on Higbee in Sunday's playoff game against the Rams also resulted in a torn ACL. 

“I don’t have no intention to hurt no body and or harm their career," Joseph announced on social media.

Harrison Smith

Harrison Smith