It was bound to happen. The new rules we’ve seen employed thus far this season to protect quarterbacks have been subjected to scrutiny at every turn. Just ask Green Bay Packers pass rusher Clay Matthews and his head coach.
Unfortunately, for Miami Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes, these new rules led to the veteran suffering a torn ACL in Sunday’s win over the Oakland Raiders.
As you can see below, Hayes attempted to avoid landing directly on Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr after sacking him. It led to an awkward landing and what Dolphins head coach Adam Gase confirmed to be a torn ACL for Hayes.
Here’s the play in question.
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
A new rule this season calls for a 15-yard penalty if a defender lands squarely on a quarterback after hitting him. In an attempt to avoid doing just that, Hayes suffered the serious knee injury.
Obviously, this is going to lead to more debates around the NFL world. The most-important question here is just how the NFL expects defenders to avoid similar hits. They are nothing less than football plays.