Thomas says he didn't realize Douglas was culprit
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas says he didn't realize when he swapped jerseys with Harry Douglas after their game Sunday that the Tennessee Titans wide receiver was the culprit in taking out Chris Harris Jr. with a low block that led to a sideline scrum.
Thomas and Douglas go way back and the two swapped jerseys and posed for pictures after Denver's 13-10 loss.
Thomas said only later did he realize Douglas was the one who had cut-blocked Harris while both were throttling down on a run play on the other side of the field.
Denver cornerback Aqib Talib was so angered by the play that he got into a fight with Douglas, with whom he shares an agent, on the next snap and threatened after the game to beat him up next time they're in Atlanta together.
Thomas has taken heat for posing with Douglas.
''At the time, I didn't even know about it. I stayed on the sidelines. I don't get into brawls,'' Thomas said Thursday. ''I didn't really see it until after the game. I've known Harry for around eight-plus years now. He's a great dude. I know he didn't mean anything bad, but from seeing the play, he could have stayed up and not done that to Chris.
''I'm always going to have my guy's back,'' Thomas said of his teammate, Harris. ''I fight with him every day. I see him every day. At the time, I didn't know it was (Douglas). I thought it was No. 18 at the time. Once I saw it, I saw it was him.''
Asked if the play by Douglas - which was legal but widely considered dirty - was out of character, Thomas said: ''I know he's a guy that likes to cut block a lot of guys. It happened late in the game. I'm not going to say it was out of character, but I just know that's what he likes to do. At that time, I didn't think it was necessary.''
Von Miller is another player who likes to swap jerseys with opponents - he has more than 20 framed, which he said he rotates in his basement. But Miller said Broncos players had no issue with Thomas over the jersey swap with Douglas.
''I'm not sure that D.T. even knew what happened on the play. Even if he did, is D.T. supposed to not give him a jersey because of what happened?'' Miller said. ''I think they go way back. They have a relationship off the football field. It was really foggy during the football game anyway. I didn't really see what happened until we got in the locker room and I got to my phone.
''You have friends in the National Football League and sometimes that friendship goes way back. I think they've known each other for a long time, so it's nothing really serious about it. What's D.T. supposed to do? `No man, I'm not switching jerseys with you.' I just feel that it's not that serious.''
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