CINCINNATI - It was a clean, terrific hit, and Quintin Mikell had no reason to apologize for it.
At the end of a 12-yard pass play from Cincinnati's Ryan Fitzpatrick to Antonio Chatman, Mikell closed fast and administered a jarring hit on the Bengals wide receiver. The Eagles safety forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate Darren Howard, giving the visiting team advantageous field position late in the second quarter.
"I felt bad," Mikell said after the Eagles' 13-13 tie with the Bengals. "I was celebrating and I was sorry because I didn't know what happened."
As Mikell went happily to the Eagles' sideline, Chatman remained motionless on the turf at Paul Brown Stadium. As Chatman was being immobilized by the Bengals' medical staff, then carted off the field with 3 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first half, Mikell was visibly upset about the incident on the Eagles' sideline.
"After I saw him on the ground, I was really worried," Mikell said.
The Bengals announced that Chatman had left with a cervical injury, but the team said at halftime that the sixth-year wide receiver was moving all his limbs and that X-rays taken at the stadium were normal.
A Bengals spokesman said after the game that Chatman was going to be hospitalized overnight for observation.
Mikell said he spoke to Bengals receiver Chad Johnson and linebacker Dhani Jones about Chatman following the game.
"They said he was doing good and moving his [limbs]," Mikell said. "It's unfortunate to see that happen."
Mikell said he tried not to let the play affect him the remainder of the game.
"Sometimes those kinds of things happen," the six-year veteran said.
"You never want anybody to be hurt. In this game, you have to try to stay mentally tough and you don't want that to happen. You can't really think about it."
Sav's rocky effort
. Punter Sav Rocca might be the Eagles' most improved player this season, but he had a difficult time yesterday dealing with the wicked crosswind at the stadium.
Rocca, who came into the game with the NFL's sixth best net average of 40 yards per kick, punted a career-high 10 times. He averaged just 36.2 yards per punt with a net of 31.1. His three punts in overtime were all of the ugly variety and he admitted the wind was a real problem.
"That's probably the hardest wind I've ever punted in," Rocca said. "You're just trying to hit the ball right, get it in the right spot and get it down the field as far as you can. I tried to lower the ball a little bit, but I couldn't get anything to come up right."
Cole questions call. Eagles defensive end Trent Cole abused Bengals offensive tackles Levi Jones and Andrew Whitworth in the first half, posting a couple of sacks. He also was flagged for a 15-yard, roughing-the-passer penalty in the first quarter after dropping Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Bengals quarterback released the ball.
Referee Tony Corrente threw the flag and announced that Cole hit Fitzpatrick in the head as he made the tackle. Replays did not support what Corrente announced.
"I'm just going to keep playing," Cole said.
"He felt like it was a penalty and I certainly didn't feel like it was a good call. They're trying to protect the quarterback and I can't blame them for trying to protect the quarterback. You can't let it affect you. You just have to be careful about what you do."
Cole's two sacks gave him six for the season. Darren Howard also had two sacks, giving him a team-leading eight for the season.
Extra points. The tie between the Eagles and Bengals was the first in the NFL since Nov. 10, 2002, when Atlanta and Pittsburgh played to a 34-34 deadlock. . . . Quarterback Donovan McNabb has thrown interceptions in three straight games for the first time since 2005 when he was picked off in his final four games before suffering a season-ending sports-hernia injury. It was only the fifth time in his career that he threw three interceptions, which is his career high for a single game. . . . Eagles coach Andy Reid said safety Brian Dawkins suffered a bruised lower leg, defensive end Victor Abiamiri a bruised buttocks, and receiver DeSean Jackson a bruised nose.