Martz accuses Bills of cheap shots

Monday, November 22, 2004

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The St. Louis Rams' defensive backfield was depleted by injuries in a loss to Buffalo on Sunday, with the most serious to backup cornerback DeJuan Groce, who hurt his left knee.

Coach Mike Martz said Groce could miss the next game, at Green Bay on Nov. 29, and he accused the Bills of taking cheap shots at his players during Buffalo's 37-17 victory.

Also hurt were starting cornerback Travis Fisher (left knee) and backup cornerback Kevin Garrett (concussion).

"The way two of them were lost was a little upsetting," Martz said, accusing Bills players of cutting Groce and Fisher at the knees. "Yes, absolutely, they were doing it intentionally. And they were trying to blow someone's knee out. There's no question about it."

Groce was hurt in the first quarter while blocking after Fisher made an interception. After remaining on the field for a few minutes, Groce limped off slowly with the help of a Rams trainer.

Fisher was hurt on the following series when he got caught up attempting to tackle Bills receiver Eric Moulds on a 12-yard reverse. Garrett was hurt in the third quarter and did not return.

Martz was so unhappy with the Bills that, following his post-game press conference, he made sure to point it out while shaking the hand of Buffalo defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.

"Two corners to the knees from behind," Martz was overheard telling Gray. "You'll see it on the tape."

Bills coach Mike Mularkey was not available for comment; Martz made his accusations after Mularkey's postgame news conference.

Rams receiver Torry Holt missed a few plays after he said he was on the receiving end of a low hit by Bills cornerback Nate Clements in the third quarter.

"He went right for my knee," said Holt, who finished the game despite complaining of a sore leg. "I could have went after him when I got back in the game, but that's not my personality. ... To me, that wasn't clean football."

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