BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns wide receiver Greg Little accused Ravens safety James Ihedigbo of choking him during a pileup in Cleveland’s 24-18 win Sunday.
After a running play in the first quarter, Little found himself on his back at the bottom of a stack of players. He said Ihedigbo, who was on top of him, put his hands around his neck and choked him.
Little was able to free himself from Ihedigbo’s grasp, popped to his feet and then flung the Baltimore player’s helmet, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“I know the ref was saying, `Let go of his facemask,’ but he was choking me, so I’m not,” Little said. “There’s a thin line between football and just morals, and I’m not going to let a guy spit in my face, choke me, (disrespect) my family or anything like that. It’s just how it is. I don’t have to say anything to the ref. At that point, he’s crossed the line.”
Little’s comments came after Ihedigbo spoke to reporters at the team’s training complex in Maryland on Wednesday, and he was not asked about the incident.
Little, who was later penalized for taunting Ihedigbo, said he doesn’t regret throwing the helmet and would do it again.
“If you’re going to take the game of football to where he took it to, I’ll meet you there,” Little said.
The Little-Ihedigbo altercation was the second major incident between the Browns and Ravens this season. In Week 2, Browns nose tackle Phil Taylor accused Ravens running back Ray Rice of spitting in his face.
Little insists he didn’t yank Ihedigbo’s helmet off.
“I was pushing him off of me and it popped off,” Little explained. “The refs were pulling him off me and him still trying to choke me and it popped off.”
NFL spokesman Corry Rush said all plays are reviewed, and if there is any discipline it will come later this week.
Little said if he gets fined, he hopes Ihedigbo does, too.
Following the game, Ihedigbo took a verbal swipe at Little.
“He’s just trying to be a tough guy,” Ihedigbo said after the Browns ended their 11-game losing streak to Baltimore. “Some guys that aren’t tough try to prove that they are tough.”
Little smirked when he was told about the comment.
“I’m going to hold back on what I really want to say,” Little said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll play again and if he feels like I’m not tough he knows where to find me. He’s far from tough. Believe it.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)