During a punt return in the first quarter of Thursday Night’s game between the Ravens and Browns, Cleveland punt returner Joshua Cribbs got leveled and knocked out by a vicious hit by Baltimore’s Dannell Ellerbe.

Thankfully, Joshua walked off under his own power, smiling all the way.

Let the record show that Cribbs came out against the NFL and the referee situation before the game:

“Who polices the NFL and holds them accountable?” Josh Cribbs said. “It’s just very unfortunate. A lot of times we have to scream and yell at the refs the rules. We have to help them with some calls. It’s unfortunate for them. I feel sorry for them. Like Coach said, we do have to beat that team and the refs as well.”

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    • Blackhawk

      He wasn’t head hunting…he went low and as he did Cribbs was coming down too…no way to pull back….he lead with his shoulder. For once a guy tackles the right way and people are wanting him tossed. It’s a contact sport….this is going to happen even when everyone does things right. Next you’re going to blame the guy who kicked him when going for the ball after he was ko’d.

    • then turn off the t.v and go feed the homeless sweet cheeks.. its football time!!!

    • Joe Boyd

      He was not a defense-less player. And Ellerbe pranced around until he noticed Cribbs didn’t get up. Stop acting like you don’t know football is a violent sport. Would you rather them play 2 hand touch? SMH

    • “CB”

      Not to be rude Frazer but how was Ellerbe head hunting? If you watch the slow motion reply at the :30 mark you will see that he clearly led with his shoulder, turned his head to the left side and made a clean hit. Was he looking for a hard hit, yes I would I agree. That said special teams is the most dangerous positions because you have men running full speed at each other and the collisions are often much harder than any other hits. Dirty football? I must disagree. Just a clean punishing hit and an unfortunate ending to it. Glad to see Cribbs walk off under his own power.

      • Mark G. Spiranovich

        He did go for the head ! Keep defending dirty play !

    • GotoWarMissAgnes

      How can you say he was head hunting? I watched that sequence frame by frame and there was no helmet-to-helmet contact at all. It was a text book tackle (helmet to the side and drive your shoulder into the player) it just happened that Cribbs was running and Ellerbe was coming full-speed. if anything Cribbs got knocked out by hitting the turf with such force.
      That my friend is not head hunting.

      • GotoWarMissAgnes

        And actually after watching it again it wasn’t even Ellerbe that made the initial hit it was #46 Cox that made the play. Ellerbe comes in at the end but hits him with his shoulder into Cribb’s shoulder first, then, subsequently into the helmet. the helmet flies loose as Cribbs is being driven back by Cox and then Cribbs hits the ground hard. that isn’t helmet to helmet. and since Cribbs was considered a runner it’s not an illegal hit. may have been called that way but it’s not illegal

        • Dre

          shoulder to shoulder contact will never cause your helmet to fly off, unless its not strapped, obviously you guys have never played the sport

        • Dre

          you are right 46 did make the initial wrap up on the legs, but we all have held a player up for a nother player to deliver a punishing blow, but the fact that the runner (“which you were correct on”) i just know when an opponent is unable to move being held like that the defense knew exactly where he is going to hit the guy…

    • stoutout

      waaah waah waaah football is a violent sport numb nuts

      • Dre

        i agree it is very obvious he led with is helmet and was clearly aiming for only the helmet of the other player its a damn shame football has come to this, I just read an article about pop warner 11 years olds being paid 20-50 dollars from each coach to deliver a game ending blow.. the sport isnt just the same anymore, dissapointing

        • c-dub

          He doesn’t lead with his helmet, he leads with his shoulder which is what he hit him with; and the reason Ellerbe hits him in the helmet is because Cribbs ducked down. If Cribbs would have been running like he was then the hit would have been across his chest. I don’t think Ellerbe tried to injure him on purpose this stuff just happens sometimes in contact sports.

      • Dre

        intentional use of physical force or power, to threatened or actual, against a person, or against a group or community, that either results in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation…. yeah thats your definition of football huh i seriously doubt these players are intentionally causing injury, death, psychological harm… wow what planet are you from

    • Peter Daniels

      Obviously you’ve never played football a day in your life. C’mon man or is it C’mon lady?

      • Dre

        an as for your comment i have played league tournaments, high school (division 1) college and semi pro, its football not boxing ( boxing is a violent sport, football should be competitive, but violent maybe your ignorance should look up the definition of violence ( you do know what flagrant means, injury’s should be accident its apart of the game, but when they become intentional, that is where the problem is, on the pro level people are playing for cars in there driveways, and food on there table, and you think that is cool to deliberately strike a possible career ending or life threatening blow just because you lack the skill or talent to stop a player.. wow is all I can say

        • Bo

          And I am a robot…

    • chris

      I don’t think you know the rules. Josh was not a defensless reciver. He became a runner. When you become a runner, helmet to helmet contact is 100 percent legal. Football is violent and physical. Those professional men on the field know exactly what the risks are.

    • Captain Tony

      Maybe he should wear a helmet that fits his head properly like the manufacturer states and he wont be as prone to concussions. I’m no expert but I would assume that a helmet loses some of its protective effectivness when it doesn’t fit snug to a players skull because of his hair. The padding in the helmet is supposed to cushion the blow. Hair doesnt have the same protective qualities of specially designed padding. If a player wants to assume the risk of a loose fitting helmet and chin strap due to religious beliefs or because they think it looks good out in public than it is as a risk they are taking and nobody elses fault.

    • Cj LeBlanc

      You, my friend, are frkn right-on— this guy should be fined for a cheap, irresponsible headshot!!!!!!

  • Skipster

    Right! You don’t know football. As the officials stated and the film shows it was a shoulder to helment hit. That’s football so get your story right. It was a clean hit and the officials confirmed it.

    • Cj LeBlanc

      BS, shoulder to helmet is worse because you can frkn peel his head off as you blast thru him.

  • Thomas Gates


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  • R. Cardenas

    These players need to also consider the impact of 5 pounds of extra hair have on the effectiveness of a helmet. Rest assured the manufacturers did not factor in an additional 2 inches of hair around the circ. of the helmet when running safety tests. The helmets are stretched to the limit with no hair let alone mounds of locks.

  • Thank God that Cribbs is alright, he got to his feet and walked away.

    • janefarnworth

      Yes, thank God. Many were praying at home and on that field. Praise God he was able to walk off that field.

    • Tamara

      I completely agree it is wonderful that he was able to regain consciousness and walk off the field, but I suspect Mr. Cribbs is far from being alright. I think NFL players should be given comprehensive cognitive exams (also called neuro-psychiatric tests) before “walk ons” even try out, or “draftees” report to their first practice. That way they’d have a measureable baseline level of cognitive function for comparison after such head trauma as this incident with Mr. Cribbs. I am a huge fan of NFL football. However my conscience has been nagging at me ever since the studies were published re: permanent consequences of repetitive head trauma (including Traumatic Brain Injury, shorter life span, depression, suicide rate, Alzheimers rate, etc). It does not seem right to me to support a sport that inflicts this level of damage on men’s lives. Regardless of the exorbitant salaries some of the men are paid, the family members of players who have developed Alzheimers, or committed suicide would say the money was not worth the sacrifice. I’m glad helmets are better, and the rules are changing to decrease brain injuries, but clearly this incident shows there is more work to be done in preventing such trauma. – Big fan with a guilty conscience for helping provide the marketplace where young men become disabled. I no longer watch boxing or support any aspect of that activity, which I no longer consider a “sport”. Dog fighting is immoral and illegal. Cock fighting is immoral and illegal. Boxing should be too. I’m not comparing boxers to dogs or roosters, I’m saying people should be treated as well as our society requires we treat dogs and roosters. Young people, even younger adults however well-education can simply not grasp what they are risking, therefore cannot logically be consenting participants. Even people who have worked in a long term care facility with head injured residents cannot fully grasp what life is like living with a brain injury 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Health care workers get to leave at the end of their shift. I know because I was one…until I developed a cognitive impairment (from an illness, not from an injury)…Just sayin’, I thought I had a pretty good idea about the life of a person with a disability, until I became trapped inside it, permanently.

  • DON

    it’s a complete travesty the way the raven’s play (killer) r lewis. , j harrison’s (pgh) same way like they are trying to seriously hurt someone. The first time they hit Weeden in the game it was a helmet to the kidney area. (no flag) come’on if that would have been Flacco (falg’s wouldv’e been everywhere) . On the Cribbs hit (no flag) wtf. are you kidding me. Also not once did they flag Bolden, he was pushing off the whole game……. They really don’t want football in Cleveland anymore . do they.

  • usa

    the old “sub-par” ref were better for the game. now it will go back to the katrinas the pack new england and the raiders.

  • @frazer gipson if you watched the game you would have seen that ALL the Raven’s players were upset and concerned for Cribbs including ELLERBE whos whole demeanor changed once he saw that Cribbs was injured.

    When players make a good tackle they all do their little dance, chest hits whatever – both teams were filmed doing this throughout the game. To say that this was a head hunting hit is just ignorance and poor sportsmanship.

    It was a good game, Both teams played hard and don’t deserve to have anything taken from them – it was an unfortunate ACCIDENT and I hope Cribbs is well and playing in the Browns next game.

    • Tamara

      One does not recover from a concussion in a week. Minimum 6 to 8 weeks for the mildest head trauma. An incident like this could mean permanent brain damage.

  • Bob

    ‘Dancing is a contact sport, football is a collision sport.’ Vince Lombardi, Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers, circa 1960s?

    Since Coach Lombardi uttered those insightful words pro football players have become bigger, stronger, faster, and there is plenty of evidence that collisions between players, many being near head-on collisions, are resulting in injuries that range from serious to career-ending to life-threatening.

    It seems that text book blocking and tackling techniques taught when kids first begin to play football are being replaced by the collision. And, there is a certain, almost criminal, viciousness about it.

  • Brian

    Glad to see Cribbs walk away but this might end his career. He has a few concussions on record now and he has lost a few steps. This was probably a break for the browns so they could get rookie speedster Travis Benjamin in the return game

  • al

    Baltimore Ravens look like they came from a prison ,penitentary and put into uniforms to play football.


    number 46 made the tackle – a very good tackle – everthing else in the video was a ” collision ” no intention of tackling the collision is a cowards tackle . i have seen a few
    collisions penalized – so someone is on the right track

  • Do you think it could be all that hair that cause the helmuts to not fit right and do what the were designed for? Maybe they could make bigger helmuts designed to fit big hair? Just a thought. A majority of big hits on players are those with big hair who’s helmuts get knocked off. Or maybe I am wrong..

  • Zach

    Yea, there was no call on that hit plus a bad call (interfering with the kick return) when a Browns player got pushed into the returner – oh, and the returner called for a fair catch when the guy was less than 3 feet from hitting him. These “real” refs are doing a really poor job of officiating. Don’t expect the calls to get any better just because a deal has been reached.

  • cbizzme

    The increasing subjectivity of what is legal and what is not and intent of the hitter is getting old. Work on making the player safter with equipment improvements as necessary. Everyones body is moving. The notion every potential tackler has to plan and file a flight plan before doing his job, is rediculous. Obvious helmet to helmet should be avoided, but even that is questionable. Improve eqipment. NASCAR and others made changes durictly related to limiting head movement.

    Why did this guy’s helmet come off? Did it need to? What knocked him out? The sideways jolt during the hit is on the list, but what about when his head hit the ground backwards helmetless? Could that have contributed?

    • Dre

      fyi I played linebacker middle to be exact.. listen when I tell you a person knows when they lead with there helmet, its uncomfortable, and disorienting and there is no way as a player .. you don’t know you are doing it.. and the only reason for doing it is to cause personal injury, football 101 you should be looking forward through your face mast not head down spearing like gold berg

    • Tamara

      Mr. Cribbs was already unconscious before he hit the ground. You can see this in the replay where he demonstrates zero reflexes that protect humans from falling (we tuck our chins, stick out our hands or feet, use our abs to bend our bodies to remain upright or to at least protect our heads as we are falling). This poor guy hit the grass like a rag doll. That’s how I can see that he was unconscious before he hit the turf. He sustained at least 2 blows to his head from other players, the third blow to his head was as he hit the turf for the first time. The forth blow was because he landed so hard on the ground that is unconscious body bounced and hit the ground again. Let’s just say he weighs 200 lbs. Now let’s think about the force required to make a 200 lb ball bounce on turf. That amount of force seems more on the order of a pile driver than any kind of game.

  • You kidding Me?

    The hit was fine. What the NFL needs is a policy regarding hair. When the hair becomes more important than keeping your helmut on, it’s a problem. Back in the 60’s, 70’s, 80, and even the 90’s, you NEVER saw helmuts coming off like you’re seeing now. CUT YOUR HAIR AND KEEP YOUR HELMUT ON YOU IDIOTS!

    • …What is a “helmut”? That’s right! I do not have an idea of what a helmut is since “they never come off the players” – keep your helmuts on players, keep them on…

  • Dre

    the crazy thing about it is the only reason that man is not in the hospital is because the player from the apposing team missed his helmet because of initial contact from 46 football players see this all the time… we know what that is we call them (HEAD HUNTERS) (WEDGE BREAKERS)

  • RedShadow

    Blackhawk: How can you say he tackled the right way? Get a clue! He didn’t even try to wrap Cribbs up and tackle him. Yes, I will give you he lead with his shoulder but he definitely was trying to blow him up. He never attempted to wrap him up and he drilled Cribbs right in the head with his shoulder. The right way to tackle is to lead with your shoulder with your head to the side and try to wrap the guy up with your arms. Watch the video and you will he never extends his arms out. He just hammered Cribbs right in the head.

  • For the coach to say”you have to beat the other and the refs” is aburd,we humans love to complicate things,no wonder theres a negative locker room,the coach multiplied the task at hand.I thought the coach should motivate the team ,not deflate them?