Jon Beason's first documented concussion in the NFL should have been avoided, he said, if not for a "cowardly" play by an opponent.
Beason was taken out of Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers after a collision with running back Carlos Hyde in the first quarter.
"I can honestly say that if I hadn't gotten pushed in the back I wouldn't have been concussed," Beason said on Friday, having cleared the concussion protocol which kept him on the sideline for several days. "It's unfortunate when another player, Alex Boone to be exact, can reach out, grab you from behind, and deliberately push you in the back. It's hard enough to stay healthy in this league. I think it was a coward move, it doesn't show any sportsmanship, no regard for another player or his career. It could have been a lot worse."
Boone is a sixth-year veteran guard for the 49ers. The play in which the incident occured was a run to Beason's left.
"Alex Boone came up to block me," Beason said. "I got over the block and I had cleared him. He reached out, horse-collared me, and then pushed me and I never saw Hyde. I never saw Hyde because my head was down. I've been tackling people for a long time, I have several hundred tackles, I have never had a recorded concussion . . . . I didn't know what happened, but once you watch the play it's clear. There is intent there, not necessarily to harm but you have to have some regard for other players in terms of the rules. The rules are created for a reason."
The play was submitted to the NFL by the Giants. Boone was not fined but Hyde was hit with a $23,152 penalty for initiating contact with the crown of his helmet. Beason said he did not attempt to reach out to Boone personally, instead going through the media.
"I wanted to get that out there," he said of his comments. "I hope that goes back to him, and that's how I feel."
Beason said the block in the back was "like pushing someone down the stairs." He tried to regain his balance, but the collision with Hyde occurred before he could. He was then examined in the locker room and never returned to the game. He has been cleared, practiced on Friday, and expects to play on Monday against the Eagles.
"There's no reason to push anybody in the back in football," Beason said. "I think it's a coward move."
And it wasn't something Beason saw on film prior to the 49ers game.. Nor, he said, has he seen it often throughout his career.
"You don't see it because most guys," he said, "they care about the competition and there's a level of sportsmanship in our game."