The Bengals got a minor scare Saturday night when their franchise QB suffered a neck injury on a 4th-and-1 QB sneak at the goal line.
Though it was deemed to be minor enough that he would have kept playing had it been a regular-season game, the fact that Dalton even got dinged was enough to make Jeremy Hill feel bad. After all, the previous three plays had seen Hill unable to power into the end zone for the score after the Bears held him to two yards on three carries within the 3-yard line.
Hill knew if he could have just gotten that one extra yard, Dalton wouldn't have taken it upon himself to sneak it in on 4th down, which is likely what caused him to leave the game. As he told Cincinnati.com, Hill takes the blame for Dalton's injury, even if it was nothing really.
"That goes back to me," Hill said. "If I get in there obviously we don't even put Andy in that situation. Obviously he's fine but you don't want to put your quarterback in that situation."
"I just had to get in there. There wasn't any debating it. Three times – I can't remember the last time that's happened to me. Maybe one doesn't work, but the second time I know I'm going to get in there. I'm glad it happened now rather than in the season where we probably kick a field goal or something like that. I'm glad it happened."
That's the kind of mentality you love seeing from one of your team's top players. It shows that not only is Hill willing to admit his shortcomings, but he's also not afraid to take the kind criticism that would come if his actions ever did lead to a teammate suffering a significant injury.
That's also the kind of leadership you'd love to see guys like Dalton take more of. While Dalton is willing to admit his faults, he rarely has ever come out and criticized himself as openly as Hill did in this case. Great players are always looking for every little fault they have and how to correct it.
That's what Hill is doing in this case, and seeing this should help his QB do more of it himself.