On a day the NFL celebrated the end of its most pressing controversy, its lingering one rose again to prominence as Browns returner Josh Cribbs took a brutal hit from Dannell Ellerbe at the end of a first quarter punt return and lay motionless on the turf during tonight's Cleveland-Baltimore game at M&T Bank Stadium.
The hit knocked Cribbs' helmet off after which his skull ricocheted off the ground. A Ravens player's cleat later found his face, adding insult to injury. And yet, after several minutes of attention, Cribbs rose to his feet and even argued to continue playing; he was later taken back to the locker room.
As Cribbs was a ball carrier at the time, he wasn't considered "defenseless," however, given he was in the process of being tackled, it's hard to argue he had no way to protect his head from being targeted. [NFLN]