Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller is finished for the year after only two preseason games after being crushed by Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger. The NFL has said the Competition Committee will be reviewing the play, but that Swearinger won't be penalized for what was deemed a perfectly legal hit, according to Pro Football Talk.
Trying to catch a pass, Keller turned and was taken out at the knees by the smaller Swearinger. On the play, Keller tore his ACL, PCL and MCL while also dislocating his knee.
Under current rules, Keller is considered a defenseless receiver because he's trying to catch a football. However, defenseless players can be hit anywhere but the neck or head legally. NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino says the committee will begin looking into changing the rules so that a defenseless player can't be hit with low contact either (via PFT).
"Keller is considered a defenseless player — he’s a receiver attempting to catch the pass," Blandino said. "And he’s protected in two ways. He’s protected from hits to the head or neck area, and he’s protected from hits to the body with the crown or forehead/hairline parts of the helmet. So those rules do not prohibit low contact."
Sounds like the defense's job might get even harder.