USC Gamecocks Football

Gamecocks in the NFL: DJ Swearinger calls out referees for labeling him ‘the bad guy’

Five questions with D.J. Swearinger

Former South Carolina Gamecock DJ Swearinger looks at NFL experience, USC football career, Alabama win
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Former South Carolina Gamecock DJ Swearinger looks at NFL experience, USC football career, Alabama win

D.J. Swearinger was all over the field on Sunday for the Washington Redskins, as the former South Carolina defensive back totaled seven tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in his team’s 23-17 win over the Carolina Panthers.

But after the second to last play in the game, following a turnover that sealed the contest for Washington, Swearinger drew an unsportsmanlike penalty after getting into it with Panthers QB Cam Newton. Ultimately, the flag meant nothing as the Redskins closed out the win at home.

But the interaction between Newton and Swearinger became one of the main headlines after the game, because Swearinger told reporters that he was being unfairly targeted by referees. According to Swearinger, Newton was trash talking the entire game, and after the play he approached him to say he had the last laugh, clapping while he did so. After that, Swearinger said, Newton said he would beat the former Gamecock up, prompting Swearinger to tell him to hit him. That’s when the flag came flying in.

“That’s the label 36 (Swearinger’s jersey number) got,” he told reporters. “But I’m cool. I’m cool with being the bad guy.”

Video of Swearinger’s comments are below. They contain a profanity.

Another former USC star who stirred up controversy in Week 6 was Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart, who took down Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp with a horsecollar tackle that resulted in an ugly knee injury for Kupp. Stewart was flagged for a penalty on the play, but the commentators on FOX seemed to defend the hit, which some on social media took issue with.

Stewart bounced back later to record his first interception of the season, albeit in a losing effort. It was his 10th career pick in his ninth pro season.

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Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles — 8 catches on 12 targets for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns.

A.J. Cann, OT, Jacksonville Jaguars — Started his fifth game of the season. Run game produced 65 yards on 18 carries, offensive line gave up 3 sacks.

Brandon Shell, OT, New York Jets — Started his sixth consecutive game. Offensive line blocked for 107 rushing yards on 36 carries and allowed 2 sacks.

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Carolina Panthers — 5 tackles, 4 solo, and 1 pass deflection

Darian Stewart, S, Denver Broncos — 9 tackles, 8 solo, 0.5 sack, 1 pass deflected and 1 interception returned for 3 yards.

David Williams, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars — Signed with the Jaguars this week but did not play.

D.J. Swearinger, S, Washington Redskins — 7 tackles, 4 solo, and 1 sack.

Hayden Hurst, TE, Baltimore Ravens — 1 rushing attempt for 0 yards, and 1 passing target.

Isaiah Johnson, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Played but recorded no statistics.

Jadeveon Clowney, LB, Houston Texans — 1 solo tackle for loss.

Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders — 2 catches on 2 targets for 10 yards, all season lows.

Johnathan Joseph, CB, Houston Texans — 6 tackles, 5 solo, 2 passes deflected, 1 interception returned 28 yards for a touchdown.

Melvin Ingram, LB, Los Angeles Chargers — 1 tackle, 1 QB hit.

Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks — 6 rushing attempts for 21 yards, 1 reception on 3 targets for 5 yards

Patrick DiMarco, FB, Buffalo Bills — Started but recorded no statistics. Run game produced 100 yards on 27 attempts.

Ryan Succop, K, Tennessee Titans — Did not kick in a 21-0 loss, the first time since 2015 he has not attempted a field goal or extra point in a game.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots — 2 tackles, both solo, 1 pass deflection

Taylor Stallworth, DT, New Orleans Saints — Bye week

Damiere Byrd, WR, Carolina Panthers — Sidelined due to injury

Bruce Ellington, WR, Houston Texans — Injured reserve

Pharoh Cooper, WR, Los Angeles Rams — Injured reserve

Chris Lammons, CB, New Orleans Saints — Practice squad

Jerell Adams, TE, Houston Texans — Practice squad

Skai Moore, LB, Indianapolis Colts — Waived, now a free agent

Brandon Wilds, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars — Waived, now a free agent