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Improved line paving way for Steelers Le'Veon Bell
Ward: NFL rules forced me to tackle low
It was a decision I made to make a tackle on a big man, Ward said.
So Ward hit Gronkowski low, and the timing of the play mean Apuestas NFL t that Wards shoulder drove into Gronkowskis right knee as Gronkowski planted to run.
Gronkowskis knee bent in a way it is not supposed to bend, and he flipped in the air before landing. It was evident immediately that Gronkowski had a serious knee injury, believed now to be a torn ACL.
Ward thought he hit Gronkowski in the quad and didnt realize the seriousness of the situation until 20 seconds later, when a teammate told him the tight end was down. Ward took a knee.
I honestly prayed for him, Ward said.
And when Gronkowski was carted off, Ward approached him to shake his hand.
My intention is never to hurt anyone, Ward said. Thats not what this game is about. Thats not how I play. I hate to see guys go down with any kind of injury. I just wanted him to know, whether he accepted it or not, it wasnt an intentional hit. We have to play this game. We have to play the way that they force us to.
Which means avoid a high hit. Browns defensive back Jordan Poyer can vouch for that fact. His hit to the shoulder of Julian Edelman after a late touchdown was flagged as unnecessary on a defenseless receiver. The resulting penalty helped New Englands field position when the Patriots recovered the onside kick.
Had Ward made a similar kind of hit, hed have risked being fined, especially if Gronkowski had ducked or flinched.
Its kind of being caught between a rock and a hard place, he said. Its a decision you have to make, but you have to follow the rules at the same time. Gronks a big dude. Hes not small by any means, so already he has that height. It just makes it difficult. I made a tackle. Unfortunately he got hurt. If he would have got up, there would have been no discussion about this right now.
There used to be an unwritten rule among players never to hit an opponent in the knee or from behind. But those unwritten rules have been trumped by the new ones from the league. Ward predicted last season that the emphasis on eliminating hits to the head would result in more low tackles and knee injuries. He repeated that position on Sunday.
When they set the rules, everyone knew what was going to happen, he said. This can happen if you have those type of situations. Its pretty much inevitable. And they force our hand with this.
Ward could have tried to hit Gronkowski at the waist, but hes giving up seven inches and 65 pounds to the tight end. If he tries to make a high tackle and misses it, he loses his job.
Ive been fined three times, he said. And I dont like playing for free. You can ask anybody in this league, would they like play for free? No. ... [And] I cant risk [suspension]. I wont risk that. Ive got to play within the rules.
And the way the rules are written, there seems to be nothing illegal about a hit like Wards.
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NFLPS: Monday night football matches Cardinals, Titans
The NFL preseason rolls on as a Monday night matchup between the Cardinals and Titans from Tennessee will wrap up the second full Botas Moto week of games. After tonightís ESPN contest, just two weeks remain until the games start meaning something. Of course, if you bet Arizona (+4), Tennessee (-4), or either side of the current total at Sportsbook.com, 37, this game will certainly be meaningful to you. Letís take a look at the game and see if we canít uncover any betting edges.
Tennessee will look to even its pre-season record as they return home to face the Cardinals. Tennesseeís late rally came up short against Seattle, as the Titans fell 20-18 after being down by 13 at one point. Vince Young saw some light work, going 5-6 for 78 yards with an interception. The majority of the reps were split between Chris Simms and rookie Rusty Smith. Chris Johnson had seven yards on five carries including a touchdown, but the Titans were led on the ground by second-year man Javon Ringer who had seven carries for 60 yards.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, completed their late rally from 16 down in the fourth to beat Houston 19-16 in their preseason opener. Matt Leinart got the start for Arizona, going 6-7 for 49 yards, but the Cardinals were rallied by Derek Anderson and John Skelton, a rookie out of Fordham. The Cardinals found a way to win despite being out-gained both in the air, and on the ground by the Texans. Tonightís game will be an important piece in the puzzle which will decide the eventual starting quarterback in Arizona come Week 1.
This FoxSheets system indicates to fade the Titans for Monday:
Play Against - Favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (TENNESSEE) - after 1 or more consecutive wins against the spread, in August games.
(50-23 over the last 10 seasons.) (68.5%, +24.7 units. Rating = 2*)
The straight up record of the team this system pertains to is : (35-38 over the last 10 seasons.)
The average line posted in these games was: Opponent favored by 4.8
The average score in these games was: Team 18.4, Opponent 19.6 (Average point differential = -1.3)
The number of games in which this system covered the spread by 7 or more points was 31 (41.9% of all games.)
The situation's record this season is: (1-1).
Over the last 3 seasons the situation's record is: (8-1).
Over the last 5 seasons the situation's record is: (19-9).
Since 1993 the situation's record is: (98-70).
The Cardinals could be aided tonight by the quarterback controversy, as both Leinart and Anderson will be looking for a good showing.
Regarding the total, the Titans have generally been an UNDER type of team under head coach Jeff Fisher historically, but that trend may be turning as they have gone OVER the total in six straight preseason contests.
Kickoff for Mondayís game is set for 8:05 PM ET and it can be seen on ESPN.