The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their No. 1 wide receiver, Marqise Lee, to a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s preseason game against the Falcons, and Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey blames the NFL.
Ramsey says the league’s new tackling rules have defensive players making unusual tackles like the one Demontae Kazee made on Lee.
“It sucks. We are going to have to play for him. You can’t be mad at 27 [Damontae Kazee]. You have to be mad at the NFL; not mad at them but that is how the rule is. People are scared to tackle normal because I guess they don’t want to do helmet-to-helmet and get flagged. That was not even flagged and [you could] potentially get thrown out of the game. Game-changing stuff could happen. You don’t really want to blame anyone, but you feel bad for him. I don’t know, man, that’s just tough to see it happen to one of my teammates, period. But you can’t really blame 27.”
Here is the play in question:
There’s nothing particularly unusual about that tackle. Ramsey’s contention is that were it not for the new rule, Kazee would have come in higher and Lee’s legs would have been spared.
It’s hard to say for sure what role the new rule played in that particular injury, but Ramsey’s point is a good and obvious one — in protecting players’ heads, the NFL is exposing their legs to more danger. Long-term, that’s a trade most people would make, but that’s not doing a lot for Marqise Lee this morning.