Player safety has been the topic of discussion in the NFL this week after the Tua Tagovailoa situation in Miami and the Sterling Shepard injury on Monday night in New York.
The Dolphins are facing intense criticism for putting their quarterback back into Sunday’s game and then playing him on Thursday night (where he had to leave on a stretcher), while there are calls from current players to make all playing surfaces natural grass following Shepards non-contact injury in New York.
Now Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey is speaking out on the NFL’s misguided priorities, pleading with the league to make player safety a bigger priority instead of things like frivolous uniform violations.
“Player safety should be one of the most important things to talk about,” Ramsey said. “It should probably be talked about more. And then s— like getting fined for socks … or s— like getting fined for tights or BS or anything like that. … That needs to not be talked about as much.”
“That’s the stuff that they need to put an emphasis [on],” Ramsey said. “Not freaking, oh his socks are too high or his socks are too low or something like that. That’s so lame. I’m so beyond that.”
Ramsey said he has been fined every week so far this season for uniform violations, and will continue to do so because he plays the game with integrity, which should be all that matters. He also said he is going to match every fine he receives and donate the money to charity.
“I’m going to continue to get fined because I’m going to be swaggy out there,” Ramsey said. “I’m going to wear the same thing this week too, so I’m ready for the fine. Come on with it, right?
“But I play the game with integrity, right? I play the game the right way. I try to make sure people are safe. Like obviously I want to go out there and hurt my opponents and strike fear and all that. But I don’t want to injure nobody. But that’s what the game is about. It’s not about the other BS I just wish maybe I could start the conversation right now.
Along with the uniform violations, he said he was also fined over $10K for unsportsmanlike conduct this week on a play that was not penalized during the game.
Tagovailoa was initially injured in Miami’s win over Buffalo this past Sunday when he was slammed to the ground and struggled to stand up afterwards. The Dolphins initially said he was questionable with a head injury, but then allowed him to re-enter the game following halftime. He started on Thursday night and had to be stretchered off the field after again being slammed to the ground and hitting his head.
It has been the single biggest story in the NFL this week, with the NFLPA exploring all legal options to find out what happened and whether the NFL’s concussion protocols were correctly followed.
The Dolphins and head coach Mike McDaniel continue to insist that Tagovailoa’s initial injury on Sunday was a back injury and not a head injury. The NFLPA has since removed the neutral doctor that was in charge for that game.