Colts’ Josh McNary apologizes to Titans’ Delanie Walker for penalized hit

Josh McNary #57 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Josh McNary #57 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary used his Instagram account to apologize to Tennessee Titans Delanie Walker for a hit in Sunday’s game that resulted in a penalty and possible fine for McNary and a sore chest for Walker.

McNary was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after delivering a vicious hit to Walker in the third quarter. It negated an interception by cornerback Patrick Robinson and was one of 12 penalties levied against the Colts.

“As I closed in on #82, he maintained eyes on the QB and suddenly let up as he saw that he wasn’t the target,’’ McNary wrote. “Almost simultaneously, I struck him on his pads to reroute him not knowing the ball had just been released. Unfortunately he was hurt on the play and our team suffered the untimely penalty. It is never my intention to hurt a fellow player, as I pray for an injury free contest before every game. Not everyone can understand, but it is a fast, physical sport and I am very much a work in progress.’’

The Instagram post included a footnote from McNary: Had to get that off my chest. The world is cold enough as is.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey described the play as “unnecessary’’ Monday.

Chuck Pagano offered a different interpretation.

“Just to set the record straight, it looked how it looked,’’ he said. “It was unfortunate . . . they had an underneath route to Delanie and then a deep route to (Andre Johnson) behind him and (McNary) was underneath zone coverage. The quarterback was standing there and he is looking right down the same line as Delanie underneath and the guy behind him and he was reacting, he was playing football.

“We don’t have cheap-shot guys on this football team. That’s not Josh. That’s not any of our guys. There was no malice there. It was a bang-bang play, (McNary) was reacting to what he thought he saw and it was unfortunate.’’

Despite his apology, McNary probably will be receiving a letter from the NFL this week. If the league office deems the infraction was a hit to a defenseless player, McNary would be subject to a minimum fine of $24,309.

He earns approximately $39,706 per week.

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