Cleveland Browns: Kiko Alonso

Two quarterbacks went down in Thursday night's game in Cleveland, one lost for the season and the other for a month to six weeks.

This is life in the NFL, where a quarterback who does not go out of bounds immediately risks his livelihood.

[+] EnlargeEJ Manuel, Tashaun Gipson
AP Photo/David RichardTashaun Gipson's hit on EJ Manuel didn't look dirty, but his antics afterward weren't necessary considering the Bills QB was injured on the play.
But the Bills had a bigger complaint regarding how the Browns conducted themselves after the injury to their quarterback, EJ Manuel. They may have a point.

Neither the Browns nor the Bills thought the hits by Buffalo's Kiko Alonso on Brian Hoyer or Cleveland's Tashaun Gipson on Manuel were dirty.

"I don't think there was any intention there," Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. "Brian was sliding and as he was sliding there was contact. That was just an unfortunate thing. I think he just got caught up."

The hit was high, to Hoyer's shoulder, so it will be interesting to see what the league decides after it reviews the tape. Viewed at full speed, it did not seem dirty.

Nor did Gipson's, which took place on the sideline as Manuel was running and about to head out of bounds. Gipson did his job and tackled Manuel, but he went low. The days of running through a player to get him out of bounds or simply pushing him out are apparently over.

The contact with Manuel's knee was traumatic and led to a sprained ligament.

"It's the game of football," Gipson said. "Things like that happen."

What didn't need to happen was for Gipson to stand and gesture with his arm toward Manuel as he lay on the ground clutching his knee. Gipson admitted that gesture "didn't suit it well," and he's right. It didn't.

It wasn't too long ago when the Browns and their fans were irate when Hines Ward stood and stared at Earl Little after knocking him out on one of Ward's patented blocks. Gipson seemed to celebrate the injury.

The Bills were in his face afterward, and the next day center Eric Wood called the way the Browns acted after the hit "classless." One Bills player accused Browns safety T.J. Ward of saying to Alonso that he "told him to warn [Manuel] that we were going to get him."

Ward denied saying anything of the kind, calling the claim "completely inaccurate."

Pressed on whether he said anything at all, Ward said: "No, I didn't."

The Bills' reactions on the field might indicate otherwise. They were in the faces of the Browns defenders for several plays after the injury -- and especially after the extra point following the touchdown set up by Manuel's run.

Gipson intimated that there might have been a one-for-one discussion.

"Our quarterback took a shot, their quarterback took a shot," he said. "Not to say that we were trying to one for one, but it's the game of football."

Who's right on the claims is up for debate. The statements by Gipson, Wood and Ward are emphatic.

Gipson's tackle was fine, but his gesture after wasn't.

Simple respect would indicate there's no reason to celebrate another's misfortune.

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