Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard thinks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should be punished by the NFL for a dangerous play during Sunday's AFC Championship Game.
Brady lifted his right leg and struck Ravens free safety Ed Reed in the leg while sliding on a bootleg. The veteran defensive back was slowing down to avoid hitting Brady. According to the rules, quarterbacks are protected from being hit when they go to the ground and slide.
"He knew what he was doing," Pollard said of Brady. "So, I'm the type of player it has to go both ways. It really does. It has to go both ways. Hopefully, the NFL will do something about it. If they don't, that's fine. If they do, that's fine.
"We all know emotions are on the field. We're going to say things. We're going to do things. If you want to keep the game clean, if you want to keep this thing going in the right direction, everybody needs to be penalized for their actions."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh weighed in on the play, too.
"I saw the same thing everybody saw, so that would be in the league's hands," Harbaugh said. "It's pretty straightforward what happened. I'm going to leave it up to you guys to make those evaluations and to the league to make that evaluation."
Pollard has a history with Brady, having blown out the knee of the Patriots quarterback in the 2008 season opener when the safety was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury cost Brady the rest of the season.
A fourth-quarter, helmet-to-helmet collision with Pollard took Patriots running back Stevan Ridley out of Sunday's game, the fourth New England player to suffer a serious injury from a Pollard play. Pollard hurt receiver Wes Welker's knee while playing for the Houston Texans in 2009, and he injured Rob Gronkowski's ankle in last year's AFC Championship Game as a member of the Ravens.