INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts linebacker Trent Cole has been dealing with some harsh backlash on social media from Oakland fans over the play that caused Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to break his right leg and potentially hurt their chances of reaching the Super Bowl.
"Yeah, there's been a lot of nasty things said," Cole said Thursday of the play that happened during the Christmas Eve game between the Colts and Raiders. "You have some people like that out there. I feel for them. That's their team and I know how much pride the Raiders take in their team. But at the same time, there was no intent to injure Derek so there's no need to say those harsh things.
"This is a violent game we play and things happen, and there's no need for people to be violent, to be harassing and saying different things. What happened was a freak accident. People get hurt all the time."
Carr broke his leg during the fourth quarter of the game when Cole used a second effort to reach up from the ground to grab the quarterback around the waste after missing him the first time. Carr, who was miked up for NFL Films, immediately said "it's broke" while on the ground.
There were no flags thrown on the play and no Raiders complained about it potentially being a dirty play.
Carr, who was having an MVP-caliber season, has thrown for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions this season. He's expected to be out six to eight weeks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Matt McGloin will start in Carr's absence.
"Everybody knows me -- I'm not a dirty player," Cole said. "It was clear it was a clean play. I wrapped around his waist and he went down. My body was already on the ground. I feel bad for any football player that gets injured in the NFL. Everybody works so hard to be successful at this game. I think he's a great quarterback. I wish him nothing but the best and hope he gets back to his team and gets back after it. He has an even brighter future than what he has now."
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio defended why Carr was still in the game with his team leading by 19 points with 11 minutes remaining earlier this week.
"When you end up looking at the final score [33-25], we won by eight points; we won by one score basically," Del Rio told reporters. "Andrew Luc, people here in the Bay Area, I think, have a pretty good understanding of what he is capable of. I know I do.
"We felt like you had to keep the pedal down on that opponent, that quarterback in that game. You're talking about a team facing elimination. We knew we were going to get everything they had to close the game anyway they could, and we were prepared for that."