Broncos TE Owen Daniels grateful for Bengals safety Nelson’s crushing hit

Free safety Reggie Nelson laces into Owen Daniels in overtime on Monday night.

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During the overtime session of the Broncos-Bengals game Monday night, Denver QB Brock Osweiler appeared to connect with tight end Owen Daniels for 15 yards — until Cincinnati safety Reggie Nelson forcibly dislodged the ball from Daniels with a crushing blow to the shoulder/chest.

In case you can’t make out the hashtag-speak, Daniels said that’s the hardest he’s ever been hit. Nice work by the 32-year-old Nelson who earned his first Pro Bowl nod this season.

After Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a knee bruise on Nov. 29 (in Denver, incidentally) in what initially looked like a much more damaging injury, QB Tom Brady expressed that new player safety rules aimed at preventing helmet-to-helmet contact have caused more lower-body hits.

"I hate to see it but it’s really the only way for defenders to hit now," Brady said. "I bet if you ask a bunch of players they’d rather you go high than low. When you go low that’s what happens. I don’t think it’s dirty. I just think it’s the way football’s being played now."