On Aug. 9 in a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers rookie first round pick, defensive end Datone Jones was taking his first snap of professional football. He beat his man, fellow rookie, offensive guard Jonathan Cooper. Jones was heading straight to the quarterback.
Unfortunately for Jones, he never got home as Cooper unceremoniously stuck out his leg and tripped him, causing Jones to injure his ankle. He hasn’t been the same player since. Later in another game, Cooper would be placed on season ending IR with a broken leg.
On Sept. 15, Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy was injured in the Packers win over the Washington Redskins. On his first run of the day – a carry of about 10 yards – from his blind side Lacy was “tattooed” by a kamikaze-type hit by the Redskins’ Brandon Meriweather.
Meriweather’s helmet hit squarely on Lacy’s jaw and would end his day. Since signing with Washington prior to the 2012 season, Meriweather has not finished a game he has played in. He was making his 2013 season debut against Green Bay. Last week’s hit on Lacy cost him $42,000 in fines and his status for tomorrow’s game remains in doubt.
Later in that same game as Meriweather tried to do it again, this time to running back James Starks, it was same outcome, though this time it was Meriweather who laid still on the field as he had concussion-like symptoms.
So … Green Bay’s first two picks in this year’s draft – Jones and Lacy – both have been injured by “cheap shots” from an opposing player. Both of those players are out with injuries. Cooper with a broken leg and Meriweather not yet cleared to return to the field.
No one wants to see players get injured, but if you trip someone intentionally and then you yourself get injured later, or if you give helmet-to-helmet cheap shots, and you have a long history of doing so, and then you yourself get injured when you are trying to injure someone else, what are we all supposed to say?
Football is rough enough without trying to do something stupid that could potentially end someone’s career – maybe even your own. Play to the whistle and play by the rules of good sportsmanship for Pete’s sakes.