PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles' sideline was fuming after a brutal hit by Washington Redskins safety Deshazor Everett on a defenseless Darren Sproles early in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and plenty of players were still simmering in the locker room afterward.
"Obvious cheap shot. Darren was trying to field the ball, the guy hits him before the ball gets there," said tight end Zach Ertz. "I've honestly never seen the guy before, didn't know who he was going into the game, and if that's how he wants to make a name for himself, then so be it.
"I thought it was B.S. Darren didn't even have the ball, and the guy tried to take his head off. He tried to take Brent [Celek]'s head off, kind of knocked him out of the game, too. I don't know who that guy is, but yeah, I thought it was B.S."
With just under 12 minutes remaining, Sproles sprinted forward to field a Washington punt. While tracking the ball, Everett crashed into Sproles, who took the blow primarily to the head and was shot backward, hitting the turf hard. He then left the game to be evaluated for a head injury.
The scuffle that followed was eventually broken up by the refs. Tackle Jason Peters, who famously drilled Washington defensive lineman Chris Baker after his vicious hit on quarterback Nick Foles in 2014, decided he could not afford to be ejected this time around.
"I was just thinking: 'I'm about to get this guy. That was a cheap shot,'" said Peters, who led an Eagles pack that swarmed to Sproles' defense.
"I wanted to get him. I was going to get him. But I don't have a backup right now. I just couldn't get thrown out of the game, and I just had to step back and let the referees handle it. But I wanted to get him."
Everett contended that it wasn't an intentionally dirty hit.
"Football is a split-second game, and unfortunately I did not make the right decision, but I was just giving my full effort to go out there and make a tackle," he said.
"My condolences to him, and you never wish that to happen to anyone."
Sproles, 33, ranks eighth in NFL history in all-purpose yards. Weighing in at 5-foot-6, 190 pounds, he has earned respect league-wide for his work ethic and accomplishments over 11 seasons.
"That's a possible Hall-of-Famer. Dude's got respect from people all around the league," said linebacker Mychal Kendricks. "And I don't know who 22 is, but hopefully he has the same amount of respect for him."