Cardinals’ Will Hernandez talks ejection, took shot on teammate personally
Arizona Cardinals right guard Will Hernandez said he’d never been ejected or even fined in his NFL career before Week 4.
He was disqualified early in the fourth quarter on Sunday for hitting an official as he made his way to confront Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu for slamming Cardinals running back James Conner to the turf after a play had been blown dead.
Hernandez told reporters Wednesday the contact with the official was unintentional and he was surprised to get ejected. That said, he did not regret stepping in for his teammate.
“Something happened to one of our guys, so that’s how I react,” Hernandez said. “I take it personally, that’s my boy, that’s my teammate.
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“These are my guys, it means more than playing a game.”
Center Rodney Hudson called the situation unfortunate and one he’s seen a few times throughout his career. He said that Hernandez went in to protect a teammate but explained he did not see what the guard did to get ejected as it happened.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury appreciated Hernandez’s sentiment, but he said the lineman needs to be more mindful of the team’s situation
The Cardinals were tied 10-10 with Carolina and already down a starting guard with Justin Pugh sidelined (elbow).
“You can’t have that. In that situation we had a lineman down already, so we’ve got to be smarter than that,” Kingsbury said.
“You do appreciate him having his teammate’s back and they all know that, but we can’t put our team in that type of position.”
Hernandez didn’t comment on whether he is expecting a fine, reiterating that this was the first time this happened to him.
But he said Conner getting slammed to the ground lit a fire under the team, which dominated the fourth quarter en route to a 26-16 win.
Hernandez spent the rest of the game in the locker room.