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Rams' Matthew Stafford calls out Lions player for hit that caused teammate's torn ACL: 'You're dirty as f---'

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford took exception to Detroit Lions safety Kerby Joseph's hit on Tyler Higbee, and he let him hear it while mic'd up

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford took exception to Detroit Lions safety Kerby Joseph prematurely ending his tight end, Tyler Higbee’s, wild-card game performance after a low hit caused a torn ACL and MCL.

The hit was called dirty by many, as Joseph sprinted and dove at Higbee’s knee as he was trying to make a catch on a ball thrown by Stafford. Replay showed Higbee’s knee buckle after Joseph connected with it, and the veteran tight end immediately grabbed it on the turf as medical staff ran out to him. 

Stafford, who was mic’d up for the game due to his lengthy past in Detroit prior to joining the Rams, ran up to Joseph to let him know what he thought about the hit. 

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"Hey, that’s a good hit. You’re dirty as f---, though, and you know it. You’re dirty as f---. It’s been on tape. I’ve seen it. It’s been on tape."

Due to outrage on social media, some fans found old hits from the second-year safety, including one on Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson – a similar dive at the legs that led to a torn ACL earlier this season. 

There was also a questionable hip drop tackle on Rams budding star Puka Nacua during the game.

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But Lions head coach Dan Campbell defended his player. 

"That’s how we play football here. Just keep your head up, see what you hit," Campbell explained to reporters. "That will always be what I tell Kerby. Just keep your eyes up so you don’t hit on the crown of your helmet. You hit a spine, mess yourself up there. Just see what you hit.

"He’s going for the thigh board and staying away from the head. That’s how we play defense here. We’re not dirty. We hit."

Joseph posted to X to defend himself as well. 

"ALL SERIOUSNESS…. THIS GAME WE PLAY IS VERY DANGEROUS….I’m praying for bro and his family I don’t have no intention to hurt no body and or harm their career I been a mf dog since I came out my mama womb and nun of y’all on here gone take that away from me."

The Lions ended up winning the wild-card battle, 24-23, to move on to the Divisional Round, while Stafford and the Rams saw their season come to an end. 

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