The Ravens outside linebacker was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty for pushing Browns left tackle Joe Thomas after a Browns’ failed fourth-down touchdown attempt. The foul gave the Browns an extra 15 yards and another shot at the end zone with two seconds left in the game.
But Kruger said that Thomas baited the officials into throwing the flag by flopping when Kruger put his hand on him.
“I was just getting held pretty bad and I threw my hands at him to get him off me,” Kruger said. “He flopped pretty bad. They called it and it is what it is.”
The penalty ended up not hurting the Ravens, who won 23-16, as Weeden then threw an incomplete pass on the free and final play of the game.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the game he had not seen a replay of the penalty to determine if it was the right call, but did have a conversation with Kruger about keeping his emotions in check at the end of games.
“I’ll have to see it first, but we talked about it, and that’s always a concern,” Harbaugh said. “That’s always something, as a football coach, I think you have to look at. Sometimes, the smallest thing is going to be misinterpreted, maybe in your eyes, and you just have to walk away from everything. You walk away from everything in that kind of situation. He knows that.”
Seeing the penalty flag on the ground after the pass had already fallen incomplete was a sick feeling for Kruger, and he’s glad the mishap didn’t end up costing his team.
“I never want to put my team in a bad situation and I was pretty hurt when that happened,” he said. “But luckily we came out with a victory."