Taiwan Jones play should never happen
ProFootballDocContact ReporterSports Medical Analyst
Bills kick returner Taiwan Jones recovered a fumble, had his helmet ripped off but continued and got hit with a helmet to his unprotected head.
The hope is Jones simply suffered a laceration.
He was immediately taken to the locker room and was ruled âquestionableâ to return.
He did not return, but it was encouraging that he was not immediately ruled out and there has been no word of a trip to the hospital.
This type of play should never happen.
By rule, the play is dead if the ball carrier loses his helmet.
The tackler, Uchenna Nwosu, was flagged for unnecessary roughness, presumable for playing through the whistle.
However, it is difficult to solely blame the tackle r when Jones continued to run and others continued to block.
The rule is clear. The play was dead.
The tackle was not in the open field and you could defend Nwosu as just doing his job the same way you could defend Jones on the premise it would be counterintuitive for an NFL ball carrier to stop in that circumtance.
What does seem clear is that the back judge in the video was apparently more concerned about ruling on the play and a potential safety worth two points.
Safety of the player should have been his first priority. In this case, it does not seem a whistle was enough. I donât know who blew the whistle â" or when â" but the official in view does not raise his arm until the tackle of the helmetless player occurs.
He should have jumped in like a boxing referee does to stop a fight, blown his whistle multiple times and waved both arms.
Officials undoubtedly have a tough job, but this sort of play should be paramount on their mind.
Helmets were invented to prevent skull fractures. In fact, the NCAA was originally created for safety in the early part if the 20th century.
Historically, head injuries killed players when they suffered skull fractures and brain bleeding (subdural/epidural hematoma). Helmets were invented to prevent this and have done a great job. (They were not intended to protect from concussions, as we have learned they cannot prevent brain trauma.)
I hope the NFL uses this film to remind its officials of their important safety role.
I would rather have a missed call that could be reviewed on replay, because an injury can never be overturned.Copyright Â© 2018, The San Diego Union-Tribune
- Taiwan Jones
- Uchenna Nwosu
- Buffalo Bills