Just before the half of last Sunday's Packers-Ravens game, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with wideout Randall Cobb, who was promptly tackled by Baltimore safety Matt Elam. The problem, and it's one we've seen countless times since the league began cracking down on head shots: Elam went low on Cobb, who suffered a fractured fibula and could be out 6-8 weeks.
Elam's decision didn't sit well with Rodgers, who got said as much after the play (see above), and reiterated those thoughts after the game.
“I think a lot of us saw the hit on Dustin Keller,” Rodgers said, via ESPNWisconsin.com. “I just felt like (Elam) had enough time to make a hit in the legal hitting zone.”
Meanwhile, Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn't know why Rodgers is complaining.
“To say [Elam's tackle] it could have been more artistically palatable, is pretty hard for me to understand,” Harbaugh said Monday, via the team's web site. “That's a fast route. They ran a pretty good route there. Aaron made a good, quick throw in there and Matt is doing the best he can to try to stop that play. So I have no idea what he's talking about.”
Ravens safety James Ihedigbo pointed out that the rash of lower-body injuries are one of the unintended consequences of the league's policy to reduce shots to the head.
“I don't know what Randall Cobb suffered, but I'm praying for him because it's unfortunate,” Ihedigbo told the Baltimore Sun. “[The NFL] wants us to hit low, we'll hit low, and guys will keep getting injured, God forbid.”
Ihedigbo told Rodgers the same thing on the field.
“(Ihedigbo) came over and made actually a very knowledgeable point -- which I appreciated a little intelligent banter back and forth –- about some of the issues defensive players have to deal with with the target area,” Rodgers said. “I totally understand that and get that. I just felt like, from my vantage point, (Elam) had plenty of time to not take out a guy's legs in that situation. I think he could have hit in the proper hitting zone, and that's what I told him.”
The NFL will revisit low hits this offseason, reports FoxSports.com's Mike Garafolo.
"We will certainly discuss this at length this offseason," Giants President and CEO John Mara, a member of the league's competition committee and the committee on health and medical issues, told FoxSports.com. "Too early to tell if there will be a rule change. We will look at all of these plays before deciding if a rule change is warranted."