After the Denver Broncos wide receiver found himself on the wrong end of one of Kam Chancellor’s greatest hits — a tone-setting moment early in Super Bowl XLVIII — he popped up off the turf, trotted back toward the huddle and casually tossed the ball back to an official.
But he was feeling it.
“Kam Chancellor broke my ribs,” Thomas would later say, presumably in exaggeration. “My first catch, I got decleated. I got hit probably from here, back 3 yards the opposite way. And I got up quick because I wanted to feel like it didn’t hurt, but it hurt bad.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china
If Chancellor, the Seattle Seahawks’ iconic strong safety, is indeed done playing football as he indicated in a lengthy message posted to Twitter on Sunday because of a neck injury he suffered last season, then it will have been an innocuous-looking hit in the closing minutes of a victory over the Arizona Cardinals that ended his career. But it was the massive, devastating hits like the one he put on Thomas that helped define it.
Chancellor had already established himself as one of the NFL‘s most punishing defenders by 2012, his third professional season and second season as a starter. Still, the hit he laid on 49ers tight end Vernon Davis in Week 16 of that year was enough to make your jaw drop. Davis leapt to catch a Colin Kaepernick pass near the front corner of the end zone and was met on his descent by Chancellor, who launched his 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame directly into Davis’ chest, knocking the ball loose and leaving Davis with a concussion.
“It was crazy, man. He just hit me so hard, I just got up, I didn’t know where I was going,” Davis later recalled in an interview with the Washington Post. “I kind of lost my memory a little bit. I just got up like this, my face was just like aaagh. I just didn’t know what happened. I was like, ‘Wow, I just got hit by a very big man.’ He hit me hard. You know what he told me? He said, ‘Shake it off. It’s all right. Shake it off.’ I’m like, china nike nfl jerseys cheap ‘I can’t remember anything. You tell me to shake it off? How about you go shake it off, buddy?’ That was quite a hit. That was probably the hardest hit I had.”
This wasn’t the first big hit Chancellor delivered nor did it have the biggest effect on a game. But arguably none resulted in a more impressive collision than this one. And this play, which came during a Sunday night walloping of the eventual NFC champs during a stretch of three consecutive blowout victories, might as well have unofficially marked the Seahawks’ arrival as contenders.