Cheap shot takes out Cobb, Jones also injures knee
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com senior editor
~While Bud Selig will go down as the Commissioner who oversaw the juicing era in Major League Baseball, the Asterick Era if you will, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to go down as the guy who forced defenders to take out runners and receivers ACL’s.
Faced by lawsuits from former players over concussions and their affects, the NFL has cracked down on shots to the head area, as all fans are well aware of by now. Some say the rules go overboard, but I am almost always in favor of rules that might help keep players on the field and out of the hospital or surgery rooms.
But partly because of these rules, not all though, we now are seeing routine cheap shots down low into receivers and runners knees. The ACL is the most common injured part that ends seasons. Some pop on their own, like has happened to Packers like Robert Brooks, Aaron Kampman, Al Harris, and others.
But many can be prevented.
This is where the NFL, and NCAA, need to come in.
I can think of many players who have had their knees blown up from cheap shots to them, like today to Randall Cobb.
There is plenty of space on the body of a 6 foot tall player below their head. The hit zone does not have to be at the knee.
Less than a decade ago, it was fine to hit the quarterback in the knee. We’ve seen starting QBs like Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer, and Tom Brady suffer ACL injuries from cheap hits to the knees. As a result of the golden boy Brady’s, the NFL put in a rule outlawing hits low to the QB. That’s good, albeit a little late for Palmer and the Bengals back then.
The hits to the head had been glamourized by the NFL and the media.
But faced with multimillion dollar lawsuits over the concussion protcols, the NFL has instilled some serious new teeth the past few years regarding hits to receivers head areas.
The league hadn’t minded the injuries before, but when the players were after the NFL pocketbook, then the league became concerned with their safety apparently, and enacted these protective rules.
It’s time, beyond time, for the league to protect the runners and pass-catchers knees.
Dustin Keller’s season was ended in the preseason from a cheap low shot to the knee when he was just catching and turning around. His career may be in jeopardy.
Jordan Shipley and Ovie Mughelli had their seasons, and careers essentially, end from cheap shots just like that one. Adrian Peterson’s 2011 season was ended from a cheap dive into the front/side of his knee.
I pray that Randall Cobb doesn’t miss a season from the cheap shot from Jason Elam of the Ravens. I’ve seen much worse, as mentioned above, but this was bad.
James Jones knee was injured on a fluke play where he was blocking on an Eddie Lacy run. It’s more bad luck for the Packers.
It’s not known yet if Cobb or Jones will be out for the season, or less, but both looked bad enough that they will miss some games at least.
The bottom line is that the one to Cobb was preventable, and all Goodell and the NFLPA needed to do were to put some serious teeth into the rules before this season and forced the defensive backs to stay on their feet, heads up, when making hits on defenseless receivers and runners.
I guess common sense doesn’t do it though. It will take lawsuits from ex-players like Earl Campbell who have to walk with canes or in wheelchairs.