The Houston Texans have placed tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz on injured reserve due to a concussion he suffered in Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Hopefully he returns to the roster when he becomes eligible to do so in Week 8, as CJF was expected to be a key offensive weapon this season.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) placed on injured reserve— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 12, 2017
I distinctly remember the play where I saw Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack strike Fiedorowica n the side of the head with a classic old-school (now illegal) “ear hole” blast. Honestly, it looked like an illegal hit, and it should have been a personal foul for prohibited contact against a “defenseless player.”
I get that there can be some unfortunate scenarios where a play happens very fast, which is often referred to as “bang bang” and unintentional, but this particular hit looked VERY much like aggressive “head-hunting” from Myles Jack. Coincidentally, Jack also delivered a violent blow to WR Bruce Ellington, who also suffered a concussion in that game. In all, the Houston Texans ended the contest with FIVE players in the concussion protocol from a very physical tilt against the Jaguars.
Hopefully Myles Jack is fined once the league office reviews the film. That doesn’t bring back an injured player for the Texans, and I have a strong opinion that if a player violates the rules and it results in another player getting injured, then the offender should be out equal time without pay in an “eye for an eye” type of discipline. It’s the only way to stop players from recklessly breaking the rules, injuring the opponent, and then just paying some arbitrary fine that doesn’t truly change behavior or make the game more safe. I realize the collective votes from the NFLPA wouldn’t agree to those type of terms in a CBA, but I think the injured players, owners and fans would obviously prefer to see the most talented athletes compete every week instead of being inactive on injured reserve.
The following highlights the details in the NFL rules that I feel are pertinent to this incident that resulted in the injury:
PLAYERS IN A DEFENSELESS POSTURE
It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture.
Players in a defenseless posture are:
A receiver attempting to catch a pass who has not had time to clearly become a runner. If the player is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player.
Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is:
forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the initial contact is lower than the player’s neck, and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenselessplayer by encircling or grasping him
What’s New With Injured Reserve Rules in 2017?
I’m glad you asked. The rules this year allow each team to return two players from injured reserve back to the 53-man active roster:
What was the old IR rule?
The new rule modifies a 2012 reform that allowed teams to activate a single player from the IR once he’d spent at least eight weeks on the inactive list. Originally, these players had to be labeled as “designated to return” candidates at the time they were placed on IR — and the tag could only be used once. In 2016, a rule modification allowed teams to save that tag until a player was ready to take the field once more.
What’s the new IR rule mean?
In 2017, teams will have the same leeway, but with two players instead of one. That way, unlucky teams struck by the injury bug will have more opportunities to field a competitive team as the season winds down. Rather than shutting down a star player for the season if he needs 10 weeks to rehab an injury, teams can now hold out extra hope he’ll return in time for a playoff push.
Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts, fears, and concerns.