There might be some unwritten rules in sports, but there's one in particular that is spelled out clearly in the NFL. As training camps around the league dig into padded practices, something coaches attempt to hammer home is the difference between the tackling period and the non-tackling period -- the goal being to balance preparation with the avoidance of injury. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just received a harsh reminder of why things are structured the way they are, by way of running back T.J. Logan now being out for the season after being carted off the practice field with what's being reported as a torn patellar tendon, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Logan was tackled from behind by linebacker Quinton Bell during a non-tackling period, which led to the ire of both offensive and defensive players. Three-time Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans yelled at the defense after the illegal takedown.
But from a defensive standpoint, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul wasn't too happy either, and made sure Bell knew it.
"You can't do that! Those are your teammates!"
Few are more furious than Bruce Arians though, who made his feelings known after the injury.
"When we're in the non-tackling period, I don't want to tackle," Arians said. "When we tackle, we tackle. But the last thing you do is grab a jersey. I can see you on film if you're going to make a tackle or not.
"We'll see how that goes, how it plays out. But there's a certain practice etiquette you have to follow. Young guys happen to struggle with that."
And with that, Logan will now head to the team's injured reserve list, putting them in position to figure out who'll take over for him as a projected returner also slated to see some touches out of the backfield. Claimed off waivers by the Buccaneers in 2019 after his release from the Arizona Cardinals, Logan became the Bucs primary returner last season before fracturing his thumb in mid-December and being moved to IR. He won't get a shot at taking the field again in 2020, and Arians is none too pleased as to the reason why.
"You never want to see a player go down," said the Bucs coach. "Especially with the type of camp he was having."
It's an injury that didn't have to happen, because the tackle wasn't supposed to.