Bills coach Ryan calls Landry's hit on Williams 'dirty'
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Bills coach Rex Ryan challenged the NFL to consider ejecting players for blindside hits to the head such as the one by Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry that leveled Buffalo safety Aaron Williams.
Ryan called Landry's hit ''dirty'' and ''deliberate,'' while saying on-field officials made the right call in flagging the player for unnecessary roughness. Ryan then went further in questioning why the league doesn't adopt college football's policy and have such hits immediately reviewed by replay officials to determine whether they merit an ejection.
''Yeah, it was totally unnecessary. Did he target? Did he launch? Yeah, he did all those. You can check every box you want,'' Ryan said Monday. ''If we really want to protect our players, then we need to look at things. And maybe in the future we will look at things differently.''
Ryan spoke a day after Williams was hurt and taken to the hospital during Buffalo's 28-25 loss to the Dolphins . Williams was cleared to travel home with the Bills and attended team meetings Monday. His status, however, is uncertain for Sunday, when the Bills (4-3) host New England (6-1).
Williams, who has a history of head and neck injuries, was hurt in the second quarter on a running play at Buffalo's 11. Williams was tracking running back Jay Ajayi and moving to his right when he was blindsided by Landry, who led with his shoulder and caught Williams in the head and sent him to the turf. Williams squirmed in pain and remained on his back before slowly getting up and being led to the locker room.
Following the game, Landry apologized for the block and wished he could take it back, and offered little defense when asked if the hit was dirty.
''Call it what you want,'' Landry said. ''It's football.''
On Monday, Dolphins coach Adam Gase acknowledged Landry needs to lower his target when blocking, but doesn't consider him to be a dirty player.
''For anybody to start thinking `dirty play,' I've been around the guy less than a year and I haven't seen that from him,'' Gase said. ''We have to do a better job of coaching it and need him to do it right so we don't get that kind of situation.''
Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen didn't think Landry was being, as he put it ''malicious.''
''You love the effort,'' Christensen said. ''We've just got to lower that target a foot. We don't want to hit anyone in the head.''
What's concerning is Williams' history of head injuries.
The sixth-year player's career was in question after he sustained a severe neck injury last season. Williams was hurt while diving headfirst in an attempt to tackle Patriots receiver Julian Edelman in Week 2. He missed two weeks and then pulled himself from a game at Tennessee after experiencing numbness in his arms.
Williams was placed on injured reserve and had neck surgery, during which doctors shaved two disks to alleviate nerve damage.
In August, Williams also missed a portion of training camp after sustaining a concussion during a collision with receiver Dezmin Lewis.
The Bills didn't make Williams available to the media Monday, but his father, Anthony Williams, expressed unhappiness with the hit on his Twitter account.
''Football play, yes. Dirty play, yes!'' wrote Anthony Williams, who serves as Texas director of player development/scouting for the All-American Bowl. ''No player is supposed to `launch' themselves at an opposing player's head or knee.''
As for other injuries, Ryan said running back LeSean McCoy's status is uncertain after he aggravated an injury to his left hamstring in the third quarter.
Receiver Marquise Goodwin is being evaluated for a concussion after he landed hard on the back of his head while attempting to make a catch.
On the bright side, Ryan said defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (hamstring) has a chance to return to practice, while receiver Robert Woods (right foot) is also progressing.
The focus on injuries overshadowed how poorly Buffalo played against Miami, and snapped a four-game winning streak. The Bills squandered a 17-6 third-quarter lead and allowed 256 yards rushing, including 212 by Ajayi.
''I'm done with this one,'' Ryan said in attempting to put the performance in the past. ''Am I sick about it? Yeah, absolutely. I'm a better coach than that. And a performance like that hasn't happened to me in a long, long time.''
AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami Gardens, Florida, contributed to this report.
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