The NFL has taken drastic steps to prevent brain injuries over the last several years, despite the fact that they’ve yet to admit that CTE is a problem for NFL players. The league however, does have a strict concussion protocol and dishes out hefty fines and penalties for targeting the head.
The player response to the enhanced safety measures of the NFL has been mixed. Some are convinced there’s a big problem and have chosen to retire early rather than having their brain fried.
Others seem like they are not concerned like Arizona Cardinals great Larry Fitzgerald.
In an interview with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions safety Glover Quin revealed that Fitzgerald has asked defensive players to hit him high, not low, and that he offers to pay any fines that might be incurred as a result:
“He’s big on don’t hit him low, hit him high, He’ll tell you on the field, like, ‘Hey, bro, I’ll pay your fine for you. Like, don’t hit me in the legs. He’ll rather you hit him up high. Don’t take his legs, because obviously you need your legs to run.”
“He’ll say it all the time, You can ask anybody. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only DB. You ask anybody he’ll tell you like, ‘Hey man, don’t take my knees out like that.’ I’m not saying like you’re trying to make a tackle, but he’s saying if you got that shot where he’s coming across.
“You have these guys that had their knee in the ground and get caught when they get hit and tear their knees up. He’s like, ‘I would rather you hit me up here than hit me down here.’ Now, as a DB, you’re going to take the lower hit because this hit right here is going to give you a fine. But he’ll tell you like, ‘Hey, I’ll pay your fine for you.’”
Fitzgerald has yet to respond to this story. You can be sure the NFL is very eager to hear his side of things.
Fitzgerald isn’t the only star wide out who feels this way, Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. took to Twitter to basically ensure defensive players that he’ll also pay their fine just make sure they don’t hit him low:
Im wit u 1000 percent . I got 5 on it . https://t.co/b4Cp7Nhlwm
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) September 6, 2017