NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Were the Giants out to hurt concussion-prone San Francisco 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams?
Two days after Jacquian Williams and Devin Thomas hinted that they were targeting Williams, several New York players insisted that wasn’t in the game plan.
Williams fumbled a punt in overtime of San Francisco’s 20-17 loss Sunday, and the misplay set up Lawrence Tynes’ winning field goal. Afterward, New York’s Williams and Thomas indicated they were trying to hit Williams given his history of concussions, including the most recent one sustained Dec. 24 at Seattle that kept him out of the regular-season finale at St. Louis.
League spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email that the Giants did nothing against the rules.
“Players are held accountable for their actions on the field. There were no illegal hits to the head or neck area against Kyle Williams on Sunday,” Aiello said. “There was no conduct by the Giants of any kind that would suggest an effort to injure Kyle Williams in any way.”
Williams’ agent, Ken Sarnoff, said the second-year pro is aware of the Giants’ post-game comments but is done speaking publicly and is ready to move forward toward the 2012 season. The 49ers had no comment Tuesday.
Jacquian Williams forced Kyle Williams’ second fumble of the game. The fill-in return man was playing in place of injured regular Ted Ginn Jr.
“The thing is, we knew he had four concussions, so that was our biggest thing, was to take him outta the game,” Jacquian Williams told reporters at Candlestick Park.
Thomas recovered both fumbles, including one in the fourth quarter that went under review to reveal the ball glanced off Williams’ right knee. Williams still insists the ball didn’t hit him.
“He’s had a lot of concussions,” Thomas told the Newark Star-Ledger. “We were just like, ‘We gotta put a hit on that guy.'”
Giants linebacker Michael Boley denied Tuesday that the Giants were head hunting.
“We didn’t talk about it,” he said. “Concussions are a big deal. Obviously we don’t want to hurt anybody. We’re a fraternity of brothers all across the league.
“We don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”
Justin Tuck agreed.
“It’s not like we weren’t trying to hit him,” said Tuck. “We were definitely trying to get a lot of hits on him because he might not have been as comfortable back there as say a Ted Ginn who had been there all year. But as far as trying to knock him out of the football game? No.”
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