Scary moment on the sideline during the Browns game Thursday ... a photographer was slammed into by a Broncos star -- but somehow, he's okay.
Matt Starkey, the camera guy, was shooting some pics near the end zone during Cleveland's tilt with Denver ... when safety Justin Simmons caught a ball and accidentally plowed into him.
The Broncos player hit the guy with full force -- causing Starkey's hat to fly off, and his head to snap forward.
The collision was violent, and many people noticed the scary scene live -- with Pat McAfee even commenting on Twitter at the time, "That photog got SMOKED."
Fortunately, both Starkey and Simmons were able to pop right back up ... with the photog somehow even saving his camera from hitting the ground!!
After the game, Starkey made sure to let everyone know he was fine, saying, "All good" with a thumbs up emoji.
He also got a pic with Simmons later in the night and joked "iron sharpens iron."