The NFL "Helmet Rule" is making players buckle under pressure.
The Jacksonville Jaguars walked away with more than just a 14-7 preseason win against the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday Night. The team lost their number one receiver in the first quarter of play. Marqise Lee was gunning down the middle of the field with the ball in his hands when he collided with Atlanta's safety Damontae Kazee, his knees buckled immediately. Replays show that Damontae had lowered his helmet in anticipation of contact, a decision that cost his team yardage on the play, and the Jaguars their best offensive player for an indeterminate amount of time (and the rest of the game).
After the illegal hit, Lee was tended to by the Jaguars' medical staff who subsequently carted him off the field in a buggy. Damontae Kazee has since apologized for the accident, in stating that he never intended to injure Marqise or anyone for that matter.
Even Marqise's own teammate Jalen Ramsey echoed the sentiment shared by his aggressor Damontae Kazee. "You can't be mad at 27 [Kazee]," Jalen Ramsey said. "You have to be mad at the NFL; not mad at them, but that is how the rule is. People are scared to tackle normal because I guess they don't want to do helmet-to-helmet and get flagged."
For now, Marqise Lee's status is being listed as an undisclosed injury, coach Doug Marrone expects a clearer prognosis later in the day.