Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp had missed the quarterback and was on the ground in the back of the end zone. He thought the play was over, at least for him, and he tried to rise.
Then … whump.
Pain blasted through his midsection.
Tapp looked up and saw offensive tackle Nate Garner on him. Garner is 6-7 and 325 pounds, most of which Garner threw into Tapp's ribcage.
The pair was 6 yards from the play, on which quarterback JP Losman was sacked for a safety, anyway. Garner was whistled for a facemask, but that happened earlier in the sequence. He was not penalized for the shot on Tapp, which Tapp said he felt was dirty.
Tapp left the game for good. X-rays showed no break, but Tapp might have cartilage damage. An MRI is scheduled for today. Certainly, he was hurting.
"I feel awesome right now," he said as he struggled to put on his shirt, then his jacket.
Tapp said that, having watched film of the Dolphins, he and his teammates expected this sort of thing. As a defensive player subjected to scrutiny for hits punishable by fines, Tapp knows how much it can hurt to have the league pinch your paycheck. Tapp hopes the NFL exacts some revenge for him via Garner's pocketbook. Garner was playing because three-time Dolphins Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jake Long went out early with a back injury.
"We knew that stuff was going to happen," Tapp said. "They'd better do something in the league office. You can't just protect (offensive players). You've got to protect us, too."