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Willis McGahee Leaves Field on Stretcher After Hit by Ryan Clark

Jan 18, 2009 – 10:15 PM
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Will Brinson

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Willis McGaheeUpdate: Video of the hit

Willis McGahee is still on the ground as I'm writing this, and that's because, after catching a ball across the middle with about three-and-a-half minutes to go in the AFC Championship game, Ryan Clark absolutely tattooed him with a helmet-to-helmet hit that has Willis still laying on the ground.

There's somber discussion in the booth and on the field about Willis' ability to actually move (Jim Nance says he saw movement of the legs and his right arm, but I'm not entirely sure about that) and the end result has been that Willis was loaded on a stretcher and removed from the field of play.

There's going to be plenty of debate about the nature of Clark's hit on McGahee in the coming days as well; FanHouse's resident ref expert Matt Snyder pointed out that, "Sometimes helmets are going to hit each other. The penalty is for purposely leading with your helmet and using it like a weapon."

That's a fair point, however, I'm of the opinion that Clark did lead with his helmet and that the hit probably should have been flagged.

There's some good news and bad news coming from the booth: Nance says that the Ravens are informing CBS that McGahee is speaking to the medical crew but that he's suffering "significant neck pain."

Hopefully none of the diagnostics performed on McGahee have a negative (read: bad) result, but this is, unfortunately, a perfect example of why the NFL has been cracking down on using helmets as a weapon on the field of play.
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