A few years ago, this hit by Kam Chancellor would have been played over and over on NFL Films compilations and praised, but now, it’s dirty.
Chancellor broke on a ball floating toward Vernon Davis and leveled him, jarring the ball loose and knocking the 49ers tight end out of bounds. The play by Chancellor saved the reception and a possible touchdown, but he was also flagged for unnecessary roughness. Davis suffered a concussion on the play.
Davis was a defenseless receiver, and since it was a bang-bang play, it might have looked like a helmet-to-helmet hit. But in replays, it looked like Chancellor actually hit Davis in the chest. Obviously, there was some contact to the head, though, given Davis’ injury.
Take a look at Chancellor’s hit in the GIF below.