Kyle Dugger plays smart and is relatively soft-spoken, so it was surprising to see the New England Patriots safety get ejected from Saturday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Dugger got tangled up with Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. on a third-quarter run play and ripped Pittman's helmet off after Pittman pushed him from behind.
Pittman was ejected from the game as well, and on Thursday, Dugger took reporters through his heated scuffle with the Colts wideout.
"It was just a physical play all around," Dugger said in a video press conference. "I tried to release myself, (and) he obviously got in a good position to block me. I tried to release, and I felt like I was being held. So I just kind of tried to spin out of it. After that, it just kind of escalated with the pushing. It just kind of happened really fast.
"... It was a physical play, which, the game was physical, and me trying to get out of a block. And then it just escalated from there."
Regardless of who was more at fault for the play, Dugger admitted he needed to act differently in that situation.
“I just have to be smarter," he said. "Slow down my thinking. It’s really hard when the situation happened the way it did happen, with the pushing.
"But I just have to be smarter, because it resulted in me getting kicked out of the game, which, I can’t help the team from the locker room. So I just have to be smarter, learn from it and try to slow down in a situation like that."
New England indeed could have used Dugger on the field, as the Colts scored 10 second-half points to hold on for a 27-17 victory. But the Patriots as a team seem to have moved on from that defeat with a crucial AFC East matchup against the Buffalo Bills looming Sunday.