Thursday night’s game between the Los Angels Rams and the San Francisco 49ers offered yet another reminder that, in today’s NFL, touching quarterbacks is a big no-no.
During the third quarter of the Rams’ 41-39 victory, Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald was called for a downright horrendous roughing the passer penalty against San Francisco QB Brian Hoyer. Watch the controversial play in the video below:
Here’s what the NFL wants players to do:
— Don’t go too high or low when tackling the QB (Donald complied)
— Don’t drive the QB to the ground with excessive force (Donald complied)
— Don’t make any extra, unnecessary contact with the QB once the tackle is complete (Donald complied)
So what gives?
Well, apparently, when signal callers blessed with rocket arms (guys like Hoyer, obviously) release the ball with a defender less than a fraction of a second away, then it’s incumbent on the defender to channel their inner-Neo and perform a “Matrix”-like evasion of the quarterback.
Or, you know, we could all just play football.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images