There are two sides of the story. Houston Texans S D.J. Swearinger wanted to go low because he didn’t want to get fined. Or there is Dustin Keller who was the receiver that had no way to avoid that type of injury with a hit to his knee:
“With the rules in this era you’ve got to hit low,” Swearinger said. “If I would have hit him high, I would have gotten a fine. So I think I made the smartest play. I’m sorry it happened and I pray he has a speedy recovery. … Right now it’s just instinct. You see somebody come across the middle, you gotta go low. You’re going to cost your team 15 yards. You’ve got to play within the rules.”
“It’s crap,” Hartline told WQAM’s The Joe Rose Show (via PFT). ”I mean I think that, me personally, if you’re telling me, ‘Oh, I’m so worried about going high or hurt[ing] the head,’ you consciously went low then, is what you’re trying to tell me.”
What do you think? Was it wrong for D.J. Swearinger to go low on the hit? Should he have brought the hit a little higher?
With the rules the way that they are, nothing was illegal about the hit. I can’t fault Swearinger for the hit, but he likely could have brought that hit higher. It was just an unfortunate event and if the league wants to clean that up, then they may have to decrease the hit area on players even smaller. Or just put flags on players.