Everyone has seen the footage by now, so we all know what happened. Garrett was suspended ‘indefinitely’ by Jolly Roger, so we will get to see what that means. I think it will be somewhere around 16 games. a full season. What Vontaze Burfict did was at least within the confines of a football play, dirty as it was. As was what Damarious Randall did to Dionte Johnson in yesterday’s game. He was later seen bleeding from his right ear as he went into the medical tent. And what happened to Juju Smith-schuster when he was hit in the head twice by Greedy Williams and Morgan Burnett. The Juju play wasn’t even flagged despite the double-tap as he lay there unconscious, but Randall was ejected for his spearing.
But what Garrett did was crazy. If he had hit Rudolph with the crown of his helmet, he very well could have cracked Rudolph’s skull. Yeah, this is a violent game, and rivalries run deep, but I think for the most part players respect their opponents to the point of trying to play clean and within the rules.
Sure, the mind-set takes time to permeate the league, but because of the myriad rule changes, warranted or not, and helpful or not, are there to protect these guys from each other (and to help offenses score points, can’t forget that). Clotheslining went the way of Night Train Lane. Head-clubbing, the way of Deacon Jones. Pounding receivers till the ball is thrown, the way of George Atkinson and Mel Blount. Touching the QB, Tom Brady, of course. Helmet-to-helmet is just the latest indicator of trying to keep these guys from later incapacitating injuries.
Funny thing is, you look at old footage of Ronnie Lott, and he didn’t hit that way. Like most people back then, they led with the shoulder. Look at Lott, and his shoulder pads were huge. Linebacker pads. Players wore much bigger pads back in the 70s. And they used them. Now, with smaller pads, i guess you have faster players, highers collision speeds, and a fundamental change in tackling style. Leading with the head.
Yeah, guys have stuck their heads into hits since forever, but more often than not, they ended up hurting themselves. At some point soon, I think they are going to install accelerometers into every player’s helmet, and if it goes off during a game, the player is penalized/ejected/suspended, whatever.
Garrett? I think he’d be charged with assault with intent to maim if he had hurt Rudolph. Like I said, I think he gets a full season of games suspended. maybe even up to the 2021 season.