Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, a player who was injured last year when he was hit from behind by Odell Beckham Jr., causing his head to fly into Paul Perkins, said Tuesday he believes the league’s new rule prohibiting leading with the head is a good one and that it will enhance safety.
“I haven’t really read up on it a lot. I heard about the changes. It’s definitely something that’s going to take care of us as players and it’s going to make you more of a fundamentally sound player as well. It’s something you have to continue to practice, you have to continue to work on every single day because when you get tired, that’s when you go back to those bad habits and that’s when you really risk injury, hurting yourself, hurting other players.
“It’s a good rule to help take care of everybody else in the game.”
The hit that injured Davis shouldn’t be considered part of the new rule — especially since Davis was thrown into another player — but protecting the heads of players has become a larger emphasis.
One of the big concerns about the rule is how difficult it will be for players to adapt to it and for officials to properly call the new rule, which is a 15-yard penalty akin to targeting. When the rule was announced, the president of the NFLPA instead called for meaningful change that everybody is on board with.
The league will continue to pass rules and fine players more with the hope that things will change, but meaningful change will happen only when everyone-players, coaches, owners-share responsibility in making the game as safe as possible.
— Eric Winston (@ericwinston) March 27, 2018
Davis wasn’t too worried about the new rule, saying that it is just something that has to be worked on early and drilled so that it doesn’t become a problem that needs to be fixed.
“It’s just something that you got to really make sure you pay attention to detail on,” Davis said. “And put the extra work in.”