The NFL is currently investigating whether Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain spit in the face of Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder yesterday afternoon, which means that the Spitgate saga continues.
A day after denying that he spit in Crowder's face during the third quarter of the Ravens' 26-10 win over Miami, McClain said today that he might have accidentally spit at the Dolphins' linebacker when the two were jawing, but it was not intentional.
"You all can see the video," McClain said. "Me and the dude just jawing back and forth. Said a few things we probably don't want to say to each other. He said don't spin the ball. Spit came out of my mouth when I said something to the dude and that was it. It wasn't on purpose. I'm not that kind of player. That was it. It was a football game.
"The referee was right there as we were out there playing, and he didn't see anything. That's behind me, I said my side of the story. He can keep doing what he's doing, man. I'm up here with the Ravens and we're getting ready for Atlanta."
Footage of the confrontation (which can be seen here) shows McClain rearing his head back as he's facemask-to-facemask with Crowder, and then Crowder reacting by putting his hand to his face as if to indicate that he had been spit on. McClain then walked away from the Dolphins' linebacker.
McClain denies that the head movement was him intentionally spitting at Crowder.
"That's just me talking," he said. "You can't see spit coming out of my mouth or anything. We'll see what happens."
"It had to [be accidental]. You can see it on the film. I did not spit on the guy. We were talking. He said stuff to me I didn't want to hear, I said stuff he didn't want to hear. It's football. The heat of the game. Nothing against him. I'm on to Atlanta right now."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he talked to McClain and has seen the tape of the incident, and he believes his fullback's side of the story.
"We've heard a lot of things from Channing over the years," Harbaugh said. "It didn't happen. [McClain's] a guy, he's a captain at Alabama, he's a Pro Bowler, been nothing but a model guy here for us. I don't believe for one second that it happened. [Crowder] might have thought it happened, but it wasn't the way it was described. We're past that. That's history."
If the league finds that McClain did spit at Crowder, a fine will come down, likely on Friday. But McClain said that he isn't spending any time thinking about what the league's ruling will be.
Some might call McClain a dirty player because of this incident, but the four-year veteran says if anyone involved should be given that label, it's Crowder.
"There's nothing you can do," McClain said. "Just tell them to watch 33 play every week. If you want to call me a bad player, do so. You can say what you want to about me. I know I'm a great guy. I've never been a guy like that. They need to check him, not me."