Was the hit by Briean Boddy-Calhoun that caused the Odell Beckham Jr. ankle injury dirty? Beckham’s New York Giants teammates Landon Collins and Damon Harrison, especially Collins, certainly thought it was.
Big Blue View readers were somewhat split, with 56 percent of those who voted in our poll seeing the play as dirty. That’s pretty even for a poll of Giants fans.
Was The Hit On Odell Beckham Jr. A Dirty Play?
This poll is closed
The headline tells you my view. I think it was an ugly play, a scary one for Beckham and the Giants. I certainly can’t, though, give Boddy-Calhoun grief for going low instead of going high.
If he goes high, there is a chance the NFL takes money out of his wallet. If he goes low, Beckham’s legs might be jeopardized, but there is zero chance Boddy-Calhoun’s wallet takes a hit.
With all of the focus on concussions and the way the game is officiated now, this is the deal with the devil that the NFL has made. They will get, and have been, sued over brain trauma. If a guy wrecks his knee that is unfortunate, but it won’t result in the league facing a lawsuit.
Boddy-Calhoun admitted that his wallet was a consideration on the play.
"I'm just thinking hit him low, make sure I don't get no fine or nothing," he said.
"I was just trying to hit him low, hit him in the target area, which is from the neck to the knee," he added, "just anywhere in there, but I wasn't aiming at anything specific or anything like that."
That is the choice defenders have to make. Obviously, you would hope that the hit doesn’t come to the knee — and doesn’t cause lasting damage if it happens to.
You would like the hit to be around the waist or chest, but that simply isn’t always going t happen. And if you outlaw the low hit as well as the high hit, how exactly do defenders tackle.
I reached out to Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com, who referees college and high school football in Southern California, for his thoughts on the play. He said the play was within the rules.
"There was nothing illegal about that hit,” Zeigler said. “The receiver at that moment would certainly be protected from being hit at the head or neck area, but at no level of football is a block below the waist against the runner or receiver an illegal hit."
In the end, just be thankful that Beckham’s injury wasn’t worse. And don’t think for a minute this is the last time you will see a hit like this, perhaps with worse consequences.