Bombers Alexander defends violent hit on Argos receiver Daniels

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TORONTO — Brandon Alexander is adamant that he was just making a football play.

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers safety had to defend his actions on Saturday after his violent hit knocked Toronto Argonauts receiver DaVaris Daniels out of the game, with what looked like a head injury.

Daniels was trying to take a pass from quarterback Nick Arbuckle on a quick slant route, but he was met by two Bombers’ defenders, including Alexander, who hit him hard and high.

The Argos receiver looked visibly stunned and was down for several minutes before being helped off the field.

“I saw the quarterback put him in a situation where I had no choice but to hit him in his body area,” Alexander said. “I targeted where I needed to. I hit him pretty hard but I didn’t hit him in the head or anything. It was just a football play, in my opinion. I made sure he was OK. I’m not out there trying to hurt anybody but I play physical.”

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No flag was originally thrown on the play, but after seeing the result of the hit, the officials handed Alexander a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

“The refs came to me and told me it was a clean hit, I knew it was a clean hit,” Alexander said. “I’m pretty sure because of how the hit was and the results of it afterwards, it probably drew the flag.”

The Argos, who had the last laugh in a 30-23 win, thought the hit was a cheap shot on Daniels, who already had seven catches for 100 yards and a touchdown at that point.

“That changed the attitude of the offence a little bit,” Arbuckle said. “We were all kind of playing with a little bit of an edge after that but we felt like we needed to protect a guy that they injured with what we felt was a cheap shot.”

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Several Argos players tried to get at Alexander right after the hit, but he threw his arms up in the air as if to indicate that there was no malicious intent.

“I put myself in a good position to make a play,” he said. “It was a bang-bang play. I’m not gonna change the way I play. I’ll come out there and be as physical as possible and be as safe as possible.

“I’ve played up here four years and been physical and never once had a dirty play. I really hope that he’s OK. I went over there and touched him to make sure that he felt me, after the play, and we go from there. That’s why I threw my hands up at the end of the play. You’ve got all kinds of players coming after me and pushing me and I just put my hands up cause it wasn’t a dirty play.”

— Ted Wyman

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