Antonio Bryant's injury in his latest preseason game has nothing to do with ill-will or intentional injury. He was Hurt because the game of football is fast and dangerous. The game of football could hurt you at any time, and the players are constantly adjusting to new ways they must play. No one can blame players for these injuries when they are often not intentional at all. I think we have to look much harder at why injuries can be reduced only so much in football.

Players are never tackled ideally

There is no way for players to avoid injury in a game that is so fast and violent, and they cannot always be positioned in the perfect way to not get hurt.

They should not be asked to position their bodies in what is an unnatural way so that a defensive player can hit them properly, and we cannot expect defensive players to read minds. They cannot know that a player will shift their body, and they cannot be sure that the play will end cleanly until everyone gets up off the ground.

The play was fairly innocent

The play itself was fairly innocent, and it turned out to be a hit that went bad. The players involved in the hit were not expecting for Bryant to get hurt, and I imagine that the player who tackled him was not planning on hurting him. That would be sick, and it would be hard for him to do without knowing exactly how they would land. The game of football has simple goals.

You are supposed to hit other people as hard as you can. If you do that, you have a good chance of prevailing on each play. Bryant got hit as hard as possible, and this is what happened.

Stop assigning intent

We are so panicked after Bounty Gate that we are assuming every play that ends in an injury was some sort of terrible thing that we should shy away from.

People watch football partly for the hits. Ron Jaworski used to have a segment on ESPN dedicated to hard hits. You might think of how bad it sounds, but some of them are so hard you cannot help but be impressed. I think harder about it now because I know for a fact that someone is going to walk away with some kind of brain injury that they may not know about today and cringe because we can see that football affects people.

We should assume that these players are playing as hard as they can. That is part of what got them to the NFL, and I will never slight someone for effort. That is not only unfair, but it would disgrace the meritocracy that the NFL wants to be. We would do well to feel bad for Bryant and simply move on.

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