On Sunday, the Patriots were fuming over what they considered an intentionally dirty block by Titans receiver Bobby Wade on Rodney Harrison. On Monday, the team learned it might be without its star safety for the rest of the postseason.
According to the preliminary diagnosis, Harrison suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee that is expected to keep the 13-year veteran on the sideline for the Patriots' playoff opener against the New York Jets on Sunday, the Boston Herald reported on its Web site Monday night. Citing unidentified sources, the paper reported that the injury is a mid-level MCL sprain and could keep Harrison out of action for 2-4 weeks. The Super Bowl is in five weeks.
Harrison was hurt when he was blocked by Wade during the second quarter of the Patriots' 40-23 win over Tennessee. Harrison went to the ground and slapped the turf after Wade's helmet appeared to hit Harrison's right knee in a low block. Harrison walked off the field on his own.
On Tuesday the league announced that NFL director of officiating Mike Pereira has reviewed the play and deemed it legal.
Harrison did not agree with Pereira's assessment.
"He wasn't just trying to block me," Harrison was quoted as saying in The Herald. "He dove at my knees intentionally. He was trying to hurt me. The whole play was dirty."
The block happened near the Titans' sideline. Titans coach Jeff
Fisher, co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee, didn't see
the block but said it's permissible for a receiver to block low.
"I don't know what the issue was. It's unfortunate that Rodney
did get hurt. I hope he's OK, but receivers block low all the time
in this league," Fisher said.
For Harrison, Sunday's injury is merely the latest in an injury-filled season. He began the season not fully recovered from last year's injury to his left knee, and then broke his shoulder blade in early November, an injury that forced him to miss six games.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.