Teez Tabor brazenly targets A.J. McCarron's injured ankle

In the NFL, it's frowned upon. In the UFL, it could be good for business.

San Antonio Brahmas safety Teez Tabor admits that he has targeted, and will target on Sunday, the injured ankle of St. Louis Battlehawks quarterback A.J. McCarron.

The two teams played last weekend, and they meet again this weekend in the UFL's XFL Conference championship.

McCarron returned to action on Saturday, after missing two games due to the injury. Tabor, via Greg Luca of the San Antonio Express-News, was candid with the quarterback about his intentions.

“I told him straight up, any time it’s a legal hit, I’m trying to inflict bodily harm on you," Tabor said. "That’s just what it is. Any team between those white lines, I’m trying to hurt you. I told him if he runs around the corner again and he sees me again, it’ll be another one of those things that’ll happen again.”

NFL players rarely if ever talk that way in the years since the Saints bounty scandal. Tabor, a 2017 second-round pick of the Lions who spent time with six NFL teams before joining in the UFL, pulled no punches and made no apologies.

“I’m not a dirty player at all, I don’t think so,” Tabor said. “It was a clean play. A legal play. It’s Armageddon. It’s the art of war. You’re the quarterback. If you don’t play, we win. So the object of the game is for you not to play.”

That same mindset applies this weekend.

“Oh, he’s hurt and running?" Tabor said. "Yeah, of course. We’re coming Sunday, too. So tell him, wrap it up. The defense knows. Everybody knows. Get down, right? Just play football. Play in between the game, play between the rules, and you’ll be safe. Slide, get down, run out of bounds, throw the ball away. Be safe. No harm, no foul.”

McCarron cried foul after Saturday's game. Via Luca, Fox microphones caught the exchange between McCarron and Tabor.

“You’re too good of a player," McCarron told Tabor. "It don’t matter. You keep being dirty. That’s fine.”

Said Tabor in response: "I’m coming after that. I’m going to see you next week. I’m going to come at you again.”

Tabor's comments came after both head coach Wes Phillips and defensive coordinator Will Reed denied any intent to injure McCarron.

While the NFL's ongoing push to promote health and safety (which in turn lays the foundation for a push to 18, 19, and eventually 20 regular-season games) has made it unfashionable to say the quiet part out loud, the truth is and always has been that, if the opposing team's key players can't keep playing, a win becomes more likely. Still, there's a line between clean, legal hits and dirty play.

That line becomes even more blurred if the players and coaches aren't talking about the potential benefit from the application of clean, legal hits that knock the other team's quarterback out of the game. In the UFL, Tabor is talking about it.

What will UFL management do? On one hand, they need to protect their players. On the other hand, controversy is good for business. Frankly, aren't you more likely to watch Brahmas-Battlehawks on Sunday than you would have been before reading this item?