During his Monday news conference, coach Nick Sirianni said Eagles starting tight end Dallas Goedert is in the concussion protocol after he took a helmet-to-helmet hit during the team’s 30-13 road win against Denver on Sunday.
Sirianni did not, however, criticize Broncos safety Justin Simmons — the player who delivered the hit — or the referees for not calling a penalty.
“Those hits happen a lot of times,” Sirianni said. “I’m not here to ever question the integrity of another player or anything like that. Those happen. You’re going in there and you’re going to get a hit and Dallas goes to the ground and the guy’s coming in to hit and where his head is normally was probably perfectly fine, but as Dallas goes to the ground, it becomes an illegal hit or whatever.
”I have a lot of respect for Justin Simmons. He’s a really, really good football player — phenomenal tackler. And he showed a lot of good open-field tackles yesterday. And I think he’s a first-class player and person, as well, from what I know of him. So, I’m not going to ever question that.”
It is true that Goedert was a moving target after Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby, a former Eagle, tripped him up just before the blow. Still, the NFL has gone to significant lengths to limit the amount of helmet-to-helmet blows that lead to brain injuries in recent years and Simmons’ hit to Goedert’s head fell into that category.
Like he has done on multiple occasions this season, Sirianni also declined to criticize the referees, citing the difficulty of making calls at game speed.
Whether it has been his true opinion, or an effort to avoid getting fined for complaining about officials, Sirianni has typically pivoted to the challenges referees face when asked about questionable calls this season.
“The referees got a hard job,” Sirianni said. “They got to make those things — we always talk about this in our coaches’ office. We have that remote in our hands and we can slow it down really slow, right, to show what’s happening in that play. They’ve got to make those decisions with the speed of that game; that game moves so quick.”