Titans safety Bernard Pollard will face Andre Johnson on Sunday for the first time since he landed a controversial hit on the All-Pro wide receiver that knocked him out of the game. Pollard's hit came in the fourth quarter of the Texans' 30-24 victory at Reliant Stadium in Week 2.
The former teammates had not spoken since the incident but Pollard hopes to address the issue when the two teams face off in the final game of the season.
"We'll talk a little bit on Sunday or whatever," Pollard said. "Andre knows I respect him a lot. It was nothing malicious about that hit. If anybody needed to be fined, it was the ground because that's what caused it. This is the way game is. It's a violent sport. We, as players, we understand that. Having said that, we go out there and, when we play this game, we all know that we all can get injured at the snap of a finger any play."
Johnson left the game with concussion-like symptoms after a Pollard made contact with his helmet. The play was not flagged but Pollard would later be fined $42,000 for the hit. Afterwards, Johnson said he felt it was unintentional and just a part of football.
"To be honest, I really didn't see a big deal with it," Johnson said on September 20. "It was a hit and that's what he gets paid to do. The ball is in the air, I'm going for it to catch a pass and he did what he's supposed to do. He's trying to knock it loose."
Pollard had high praise for Johnson in a conference call on Thursday, referring to him as an explosive player with the ability to run, block, and catch.
"Andre continues to show that he's a hard worker on and off the field," Pollard said. "He's continuing to stack up great numbers. He's blessed with an unbelievable talent and he's going out there and showing it year-in and year-out."