During a spring game over the weekend, Auburn defensive back Jonathan Mincy was ejected from a friendly spring game after he crushed his fellow teammate and receiver Dimitri Reese on a screen play with a devastating and illegal hit.
Mincy was flagged for the illegal hit above the shoulders and the defense was hit with a 15-yard penalty. His teammate remained on the field writhing in pain for several minutes.
It really isn’t often that a player is thrown out of a spring game in the first place, much less for an illegal hit on his own teammate.
The Yahoo! Sports blog “Dr. Saturday” explains the rule:
Rule 9-1-4 is stringent and doesn’t just deal with helmet-t0-helmet hits. The rule states: “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul.” Starting in 2013, the hits can be reviewed by video to determine if a player should be ejected, and those ejections can bleed into the next game if the foul occurs in the second half.
You may disagree with the rule and think Mincy’s hit was just good solid football, but the rules are the rules. Reese eventually was able to walk off the field on his own, though he’ll probably have one eye down-field the next time his name is called on a screen play.