NFL

T.J. Ward cheap-shotted Jeremy Maclin, then called the Chiefs cheap

Nov 15, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is brought down by Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) after catching a pass during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 15, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is brought down by Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) after catching a pass during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Ward claims he's not the cheap one after his ejection on Sunday. Chris Humphreys USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Ward threw a punch, earned a flag, and got ejected from last Sunday's game.

The Broncos star safety says it was all because of Kansas City's after-the-whistle play, not his own.

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"They were a pretty dirty team -- the O-linemen, receivers and tight ends," Ward told Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. "They were doing it last game and they continued to do it this game. It took an effect on me."

So Ward retaliated the way several Broncos teammates -- like suspended cornerback Aqib Talib -- have been known to do. The safety swung when Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin laid a block that he felt came too late.

The flags rained down and Ward was ejected. He said he never intended to injure Maclin; the tape suggests otherwise.

"I didn't really mean to punch him," Ward said. I don't even think that I punched him, if you see it, but it looked like a windup. You can take it how it is."

(h/t Denver Post)