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University of Michigan left tackle Grant Newsome is out for the season. Another major injury in football. This time to a starting offensive lineman with a great future ahead of him in the sport.
Michigan LT Grant Newsome has season-ending knee injury – ESPN https://t.co/xtjW5J5GdD
— Algernon Fross (@fxp123) October 4, 2016
In case you didn’t see the play, Newsome was injured while running in the open field as a blocker. A Wisconsin defender hurled his body at Newsome’s knees and caused the gruesome injury. Offensive line teammate Kyle Kalis visited Newsome in the hospital after the game and lauded his teammates toughness.
— angelique (@chengelis) October 5, 2016
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Kalis went as far as to say that the injury was caused by a cheap shot.
“It was something he couldn’t control, and it was also kind of a cheap shot,” Kalis said. “When a defensive guy is supposed to chop, common courtesy is to go at your ankles, so if they swipe your ankles, you go up. But no, this guy dove at his knees. So, it wasn’t a good thing that the kid did.”
I’m not sure if the injury was caused intentionally (I’d like to think it wasn’t), but, it certainly could’ve been prevented. The television broadcast team mentioned that Newsome was hurt on a cut block. You see, smaller defenders don’t like to engage with much larger offensive players up high because of the size, weight, and strength disparity. So, it’s normal for a defender to cut the legs out from under the offensive lineman in a diving fashion. This play is perfectly legal within the rules.
Football is already too dangerous. Needlessly so. This is a great example of that. It should not be legal for defenders to dive at the knees and ankles of offensive lineman like this. It puts the offensive lineman at much more risk than the defender. Just because a player is bigger than another doesn’t mean that the rules should allow for dangerous situations like this one.
This would be like the NBA disallowing the power drop step move in the post for players who are over a certain height or weight. Sorry Shaq, you’re just too big and it’s not fair to the smaller players.
Defensive backs already have an advantage over offensive lineman: they are much faster and more agile. Defenders should use those traits to play the game instead of diving at a players knees.
Grant Newsome and the college football world all suffer from this incident. Newsome’s career may be in jeopardy and Michigan has been dealt an injury that may impact their season championship aspirations. All because the rules protect defenders who aren’t big enough to take on offensive lineman.
For the good of the game and the safety of its players, this rule should be changed. Best wishes to Grant Newsome for a full recovery.