Eagles’ Derek Barnett explains his hit on Packers’ Jamaal Williams

Derek Barnett #96, Fletcher Cox #91 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Derek Barnett #96, Fletcher Cox #91 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett re-visited the play where he put a game-ending hit on Packers’ running back, Jamaal Williams.

This week’s Thursday Night Football matchup was surely a dramatic one for the NFL. As the Philadelphia Eagles visited Lambeau Field for the first time since the 2017 preseason, the Birds were looking to upset their assumed superior opponent in the Green Bay Packers.

They needed to make a statement and make one early. Perhaps, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett got a little too carried away with that thought though. Early on in the game, the Packers ran a quick screen to their running back, Jamaal Williams.

As the Eagles sniffed it out and had multiple defenders attempting to take Williams down, Barnett suddenly came flying in to add some extra manpower to the hit. After seeing the replay, it was clear that Barnett’s hit was, in fact, dirty. And it knocked Williams out of the game.

Barnett would get flagged with a personal foul, but he did not get ejected from the game, which was initially discussed when the referees saw that Williams needed to get taken off on a stretcher. From seeing the slow-motion replays, it’s become clear that Barnett will more than likely get a fine in the mail from the NFL. However, he did avoid any further punishment, though.

No suspension for Barnett

What was Barnett thinking?

As trainers tended to Williams, Barnett was getting lectured from a couple of his teammates on the field as they knew the young defensive end was in the wrong. While Barnett likely didn’t have any ill intentions on the hit, his actions were out of line and unnecessary.

Moments after Williams was placed on the cart, Barnett headed over to offer some words in an apologetic way to make it known that his intentions were not to hurt Williams. And on Friday, Barnett explained the play to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.

“I was running to the ball, and I didn’t hear a whistle,” Barnett told McLane. I went in and tried to tackle him because we’re playing football. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody because it’s our livelihood. I don’t wish [harm] upon anybody. And I heard he’s doing he’s alright, he’s good. I told him my apologies. He knows it’s a violent sport.”

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Barnett will avoid a suspension as plays like this tend to happen more often than they should. It’s an unfortunate mistake, but it was clear that Barnett was attempting to force a fumble. However, it is likely that Barnett will still have to pay for his actions. At the end of the day, what he did was wrong, and there’s no way to deny that.