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Fitzpatrick: Chubb injury 'very unfortunate' but hit wasn't dirty

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick defended his hit on Nick Chubb that left the Cleveland Browns running back with a season-ending knee injury.

"I'm a guy that is a competitor, that's going to go out there and play the game," Fitzpatrick said Thursday, according to ESPN's Brooke Pryor. "I'm chippy, I'm edgy, of course, but I'm not a dirty player."

Fitzpatrick expressed sympathy for Chubb following news that the rusher will undergo surgery for his injury sustained in Monday's contest but said, "There's nothing I really would do differently."

"I would say, one: They've never tackled Nick Chubb before if they're telling me to go high," said Fitzpatrick when asked his response to people who criticized his hit, according to NFL Network's James Palmer. "Two: What I seen was it opened up, it's goal line. I didn't see anybody on him. I made the decision as soon as I seen the hole open up and him in the hole to go low.

"You can tell me how to tackle him low, but it's a fast game. It's a game (where) you make decisions in milliseconds. Can't really control what happens after you choose to make your decision. I already chose to go low. Somebody got on his back when I was going low, and what happened happened."

Fitzpatrick described Chubb's injury as "very unfortunate" and called his AFC North rival "a great player."

The ESPN broadcast didn't show a replay of the hit due to its gruesome nature.

Fitzpatrick also suffered an ailment during the prime-time game, appearing to sustain the injury while making a touchdown-saving tackle on Browns running back Jerome Ford. Fitzpatrick was reportedly taken to hospital for precautionary scans for a chest contusion but has a chance to play in Week 3.

The Browns re-signed veteran Kareem Hunt in the wake of Chubb's injury and will pair him with Ford to replace the four-time Pro Bowler.

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