Brandon Meriweather keeps word, goes low when tackling

Brandon Meriweather, true to his word, went low Sunday. (USATSI)
Last Monday, fresh off a one-game suspension for repeated violations to the NFL's safety rules prohibiting hits to the head, Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather talked about his new tackling strategy.

“To be honest, man, you've just got to go low now, man," he said. "You've got to end people's careers, you know? You've got to tear people's ACLs and mess up people's knees now. You can't hit them high no more. You've just got to go low.”

This prompted the NFLPA to announce that Meriweather was "sorry for what he said" regarding blowing out opponents' ACLs.

Not sure why Meriweather couldn't deliver that message himself, but Sunday against the Chargers he did exactly what he said he would: Go low. Here he is bringing down San Diego running back Danny Woodhead during the second quarter.

That's a legal play but as we've written previously, the NFL's effort to vigorously legislate headhunting out of the game has led to other problems. Namely: Players suffering season-ending knee injuries because defenders have now lowered their targets.

And these injuries -- like the ones suffered by Dustin Keller and Randall Cobb -- are the unintended consequences of actions not thought through entirely by the league. Yes, the NFL should thrive for making the game as safe as possible, but drastic changes don't come without ramifications. And the league can't argue that knee injuries were unforeseen because players lamented the possibly as soon as the new rules were announced.

In August, the NFL said it would monitor low hits and action could be taken if they "become a problem."

If we're not at that point already, we're close.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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