The Jacksonville Jaguars finished their 17-6 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night down their No. 1 wide receiver due to a knee injury that Marqise Lee suffered in the first quarter of Week 3 of the preseason.
And cornerback Jalen Ramsey thinks the new rules that the NFL is trying to institute are to blame.
Speaking after the game, Ramsey explained that with the new rule, defenders are learning new ways to tackle that avoid the head and upper body altogether — and that can lead to devastating, lower-body hits.
“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.”
Kazee sent out a tweet shortly after the game telling Lee he hopes he makes a full and speedy recovery.
Before i go out on the field i pray for both teams to stay healthy , i was just trying to make a football play, i will never ever try to hurt anyone, i just want to reach out to you bro and tell you that you’ll be in my prayers everyday @TeamLee1— Montae Kazee (@Damontaekazee) August 26, 2018
But to Ramsey’s point, he’s absolutely right — the new rule discourages the type of normal tackling that defensive backs have learned and been taught for years. To change all that in a single offseason will have unintended consequences, such as a knee injury that requires a team’s No. 1 receiver to be carted off the field.