It was a major blow to the Miami Dolphins when D.J. Swearinger – rookie safety for the Houston Texans – tackled low on Dustin Keller, blowing out three knee ligaments. Dustin Keller left the field after the tackle, and the Dolphins announced last Tuesday that he was officially put the injured reserve list for the rest of the season.
Swearinger has apologized for what happened as a result of his tackle, but explained after the game that he went low because he was concerned about getting hit in the head, referring to the NFL’s policy on concussions and blows to the head. This policy, he said, is making defensive players go for the knees rather than higher up the opponent’s body. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post after the game, Swearinger said, “I was making a hit playing football. In this league, you’ve got to go low. If you go high, you’re going to get a fine.”
Also, there was no flag on play simply because Swearinger’s hit on Keller was completely legal, within the rules of the game. However, there is an unwritten rule among all players about tackling low, especially considering the impact of injury on their future careers.
However, there was at least one person on the field that wasn’t satisfied with the Swearinger’s explanation or apology. Veteran receiver for the Dolphins, Brain Hartline, went on WQAM – a radio station out of Miami, Florida whose call sign supposedly stands for “We Quit At Midnight” since the station shuts down from midnight through 6am – and talked candidly about what happened to former Dolphins player, Joe Rose, on his 6-10am show.
“It’s crap,” Hartline said. “I think that, me personally, if you’re sitting there telling me ‘I’m worried about going high and for the head’ [and] you consciously went low, then [that] is what you’re trying to tell me.
“I’m not a defensive player. So I don’t sit here and assume right off the bat. But what I do know is that I have a lot of good pros on my team, and from what they have said to me is that there is no place for that in our game today.”
The Miami Dolphins right tackle, Tyson Clabo also spoke out against Swearinger’s tackle after Houston romped home with a 24-17 preseason victory.
Keller sent an email message to his fans via NFL.com on Sunday, in which he promised to, “come back stronger, faster and be a better player than before” and went on to thank his family, teammates and friends for all of their support. Our best wishes go out to Dustin Keller for his fast recovery.
In an email to NFL.com on Sunday, Keller vowed to “come back stronger, faster and be a better player than before” and thanked his family, teammates and friends for their support.
source: espn.go palmbeachpost