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Pace says he wasn't trying to hurt Manning

The Jets' Calvin Pace hits Giatns QB Eli

The Jets' Calvin Pace hits Giatns QB Eli Manning from behind during a play in the second quarter of Monday's preseason game. (Aug. 16, 2010) Credit: Errol Anderson

Jets linebacker Calvin Pace insists he wasn't trying to hurt Giants quarterback Eli Manning on a second-quarter play in which Manning suffered a 3-inch laceration on his head.

Pace wound up hitting Manning from behind after Manning had run into running back Brandon Jacobs near the line of scrimmage. The force of Pace's hit wound up forcing Manning's helmet off his head, and the quarterback then ran into Jets safety Jim Leonhard. The left side of Manning's head was cut open, and blood spurted to the ground before Giants trainers applied a compress.

"It's just football," Pace said after the game. "I don't care if you're playing against your fiercest rival, but things like that happen. If your helmet comes off, anything can happen. I wasn't trying to be malicious."

Manning actually took the blame for the play.

New York Sports