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Eric Wood: Browns' reaction to EJ Manuel injury was 'classless'

By Jay Skurski

The hit was fine.

It's the way the Cleveland Browns reacted after free safety Tashaun Gipson leveled Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel during the third quarter Thursday night that had Bills center Eric Wood fired up today in the locker room.

"The hit was fine. What ticked me off was the way they acted afterwards," Wood said late this morning, a little over 12 hours after the Bills were defeated, 37-24, in FirstEnergy Stadium. "I hope our defense never acts like that when they injure an opposing quarterback because, you know, you've got to show some class in that situation. There's a few guys over there that obviously didn't."

Gipson made direct contact with Manuel's right knee, which the Bills' quarterback immediately reached for. After getting up, Gipson looked right at Manuel and gave an emphatic fist pump.

Wood said Browns strong safety T.J. Ward made it clear they were targeting Manuel.

"You've got T.J Ward yelling at Kiko [Alonso], you know, former college teammates, 'I told you to warn him that we were going to get him.' That's classless," Wood said. "Every team's probably got 'em, so I'm not going to say that nobody on our team has never done that. But it ticks you off when someone on the other team does it, for sure."

Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered a torn ACL when Alonso tackled him on a scramble in the first quarter. The Browns announced today Hoyer needs season-ending surgery.


EJ Manuel | Eric Wood | Kiko Alonso
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |