EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Patriots players were universal Sunday night in their anger over how officials handled the ugly punt-return hit on Demario Douglas.

Jabrill Peppers said it was a “joke” that there wasn’t a penalty on the hit, which was delivered by Giants special teamer Cam Brown. DeVante Parker went a step further, saying it was “bulls–t” that Brown wasn’t penalized for a “goddamn wrestling” play.

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Special teamers Matthew Slater and Brenden Schooler both pleaded with officials as Douglas received medical attention. Neither was as colorful when asked about the situation after the game, but both also took issue with the NFL’s approach to player safety.

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“Look, I thought it was a hit that was not within the rules,” Slater told NESN.com after New England’s 10-7 loss to New York. “I think, we always talk about player safety being paramount. I thought that was a dangerous play. So, just trying to gain some clarity and understanding on their interpretation of the play.”

Slater made sure to note that his biggest problem was with the outcome of the hit, not the intent behind it.

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“I don’t think that was a dirty play by Cam at all,” he said. “Cam plays the game the right way. He plays hard, plays physical. I don’t think it was a dirty play. But sometimes intent versus outcome are a little bit different. And I thought in that case, I don’t think his intention was to do that, but I thought the outcome was borderline.”

Schooler admitted he didn’t see the hit on Douglas in real-time. But the reactions of his teammates told him all he needed to know.

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“I did not see the hit,” the emerging special teams leader said. “I was blocking. But from what everyone else was hollering about, I guess he got hit in the head. … So, I’m just kind of going off what everyone else is hollering about. But they showed it, saw the replay of it, and it was a hit to the head. You hope player safety is at the foremost, but they didn’t call it, they didn’t call it. So, we can complain all we want, but they didn’t call it, so we have to live with that.”

The good news for the Patriots is that Douglas appeared to avoid a significant injury.

The rookie receiver was in good spirits in the locker room and said he wasn’t placed in concussion protocol. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to offer an update on Douglas’ status during multiple Monday morning availabilities.

Douglas missed one game earlier this season due to a concussion, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see New England play things safe with the young wideout. We’ll learn more about his status when the Patriots return to practice Wednesday.

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Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images