On the bright side, at least Derek Carr escaped unscathed.
The new alterations to the “roughing the passer” rule in the NFL is creating major headaches. Pass rushers aren’t even sure what they can do to avoid being flagged while sacking the quarterback anymore. Specifically, the inclusion of a rule that states it’s a penalty to land with “all or most” of your body weight on a tackled QB. Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers has been notably frustrated with the change, having three textbook sacks called back for 15-yard penalties in key situations so far this season.
During Sunday’s game between the Dolphins and the Raiders, the new rule claimed its first injury victim. Miami defensive end William Hayes broke through the line on a Third & 3 early in the second quarter and took down Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stand up after the play and was in visible pain.
If this was William Hayes’ last play of the season because of the knee injury he suffered then he went out like the true warrior he is. I have so much respect for his game. He’s an old school football player. Not many left like him in the game today. pic.twitter.com/PhqetkD2AQ
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) September 24, 2018
On Monday morning, the Dolphins confirmed the worst had happened:
#Dolphins coach Adam Gase says DE William Hayes, who has 2 sacks, is out for the season with a torn ACL. The injury occurred the he was trying to not put his bodyweight on the QB.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2018
Players are now trying so damn hard to twist their bodies in strange ways to avoid having their weight land on their tackling victim (which is the natural end to a legal tackle, by the way), that they end up hurting themselves in the process.
Great job, NFL.