This NFL season has been plagued by injuries. Whether it’s the sidelining some of the game’s biggest stars — like Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Watt, and Aaron Rodgers — or brutal hits in prime time — like on Davante Adams — football’s inherent violence has been front and center. Now, there is another jarring injury to add to that list, as Joe Flacco entered the concussion protocol Thursday night.
Omg Joe Flacco. Toss kiko for that. pic.twitter.com/s18bRdHrd5— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 27, 2017
On a play late in the second quarter, Flacco scrambled toward the first-down marker, then gave himself up near Miami’s 10-yard line. Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso flew into the play and hit Flacco, knocking his helmet off, and the Ravens quarterback lifted his hand to seemingly call for medical attention almost immediately. Baltimore coach Jim Harbaugh yelled at Alonso — who was flagged on the play but not ejected — as Flacco was escorted to the locker room.
Flacco was replaced by Ryan Mallett, who threw a touchdown pass just a few plays later.
Though Flacco doesn’t have the star power or prestige of a Beckham, Watt, or Rodgers and has been off to a relatively poor start this season, he’s a former Super Bowl MVP, which makes him one of the more recognizable faces in football. But even if he weren’t, any hit to the head like the one he took is serious — and nasty injuries seem to have come even further into the foreground this season. Even if Alonso isn’t suspended for his hit, it’s another instance of the NFL coming face-to-face with the brutality of its sport.