By Tom Withers
AP Sports Writer
BEREA — One violent hit on Jordan Poyer was bad enough.
Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor wasn’t going to let his teammate take another vicious shot without striking back.
Pryor blasted Tennessee running back Antonio Andrews for posting a video of the devastating hit he made on Poyer that sent Cleveland’s starting safety to the hospital with a lacerated kidney.
Andrews delivered an illegal blindside hit during a punt return Sunday, and while Poyer was still recovering at Nashville’s Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, he posted the video of his hit on Instagram with the caption: “Relentless.”
Pryor said that was over the line.
“I love Poyer like a brother, and that really angered me,” Pryor said Wednesday, adding something more colorful to convey his feelings.
Pryor didn’t have an issue with the hard, high hit by Andrews, who was penalized 15 yards for the infraction. He took exception to Andrews boasting about hitting a player who had no chance to defend himself.
“If you’re going head up with a man face to face and he sees you, you see him, all right, cool,” Pryor said before the Browns (0-6) practiced in advance of Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.
“But if you’re a special teams guy and you’re popping that stuff on there like you’re some type of superhero or something just because you’re hitting a guy blindsided and you think that’s cool, that’s where the problem comes in.
“So I think he should stay to his special teams and what he does and don’t post stuff when a man’s not looking and taking a hit like that.”
Andrews was mostly unremorseful, saying the video was “just a post.” He feels the situation has been blown out of proportion.
“Everybody else made it into something more than what it was,” he said Wednesday following practice. “It was just a good hit, (the video) showed that it wasn’t a blindside, shoulder to chest. Sorry about what happened to him, to his kidney and everything, but good hit, good play.”
Pryor agreed the hit was within what’s accepted behavior in the NFL, but feels Andrews’ bragging is intolerable.
“We put ourselves in that situation by signing the contract to play here. But the only thing that I didn’t like was when the guy posted about it, bragging — relentless. What is relentless about that? Hitting a guy, another man when he’s not looking.”
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he spoke to Andrews, who will likely be fined by the NFL for his personal foul.
“He just needs to let his play speak for himself, and stay off of social media and things like that,” Mularkey said. “That doesn’t do anybody any good, especially when a player is injured like that.”
Poyer, who will miss the remainder of the season, took exception to Andrews on Twitter.
“Buddy posted the hit to his Social Media page?” Poyer wrote. “Wow. Not complaining about the hit… it’s football.. stuff happens… but dam.. idk (I don’t know) why but that’s wild to me.. good for him tho.”
Browns coach Hue Jackson was disappointed by Andrews’ need to promote the hit.
“That is one of our players,” he said. “There is a code among the players in the National Football League. That young man suffered a serious injury, so I don’t think that is something to celebrate.”
Jackson said he saw Poyer on Wednesday “and gave him a big old hug.”
Browns Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas also felt Andrews went too far in making so much of his hit on Poyer.
“There should be some sensitivity involved with that type of a thing,” he said. “And you’ve got to be careful with what you’re promoting because obviously when you’re promoting a play that was a penalty and that got somebody hurt, maybe that’s not the right thing that you want to promote for your own brand.”
While acknowledging the inherent violence in any game, Thomas thinks the league comes off as hypocritical when promoting player safety and showcasing fierce collisions.
“That’s one thing that I’d like to see the NFL do is not use highlights of plays that were penalties,” he said before referencing a hit Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison put on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010. Massaquoi suffered a concussion on the blow to his helmet and Harrison was fined $75,000.
“They were using that as like the cover photo of something they were trying to sell,” Thomas said. “So I think it’s a double standard that I’d like to see the NFL look at a little bit, and if they’re going to try to legislate something out of the game, they shouldn’t also try to promote it from a marketing standpoint.”
NOTES: Pryor (hamstring) did not practice and CB Joe Haden (groin) continued to be sidelined after missing last week’s game.
AP freelance writer Terry McCormick in Nashville contributed to this report.
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