Jeff Heath insists he meant no harm as he made what he thought was a legal block on Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette.
“When I saw that he was injured like that, and he wasn’t moving, I hated it,” Heath said. “My intention is never to hurt anyone. I was playing hard, and he was doing the same thing. I heard he was all right, and I was really happy that he was able to move after when they were taking him off. I just was praying for him. That’s about it.”
During a Cowboys punt return late in the second quarter, the safety hit Lockette with a vicious block that Lockette didn’t see coming. Heath drew a 15-yard penalty for a blindside block.
“It felt like it was from the front,” Heath said. “Obviously, I haven’t seen the replay. I don’t really know what part of my body hit him and what part of his body. It happened so fast.”
Lockette was knocked out as the game was delayed for several minutes as doctors and trainers attended to the receiver in the middle of the field. The Seahawks’ anger at the hit was obvious as many players yelled at the Cowboys.
Heath understood, staying on the sideline during the heated exchange.
“They’re protecting their teammate, just like any guys would,” Heath said. “Sometimes their tempers get heated, especially in a situation like that. When I was on the side, I didn’t really hear if they were saying anything. They didn’t look very happy with me, obviously. But we would be the same way, you know. Like I said, I’m glad he’s doing all right.”
Diagnosed with a concussion, Lockette was taken to a local hospital for overnight observation. He had full movement in all his extremities.
“I was just praying that he was OK,” Heath said. “Scary because we’re football players, and there’s collisions and stuff like that. But we’re also men, fathers, sons. You never want to see a guy injured. Those are really scary injuries – the head injuries. I felt terrible that he was injured like that.”