Kellen Winslow. Jr. says NFL should examine low hits to defenseless WRs with same vigor as helmet-to-helmet hits

Kellen Winslow, Jr., isn’t buying Texans rookie safety D.J. Swearinger’s rationale for his low hit that resulted in a devastating season-ending knee injury to Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller over the weekend.

Keller, who played five seasons with the Jets, tore his ACL, MCL and PCL and dislocated his knee on the play. Winslow thinks low hits aimed at defenseless players should be outlawed.

“It’s just the way he was hit… he’s defenseless,” Winslow told the Daily News. “I’ve been thinking about that (type of) hit for years. The guy’s defenseless... and the (defender) is knifing in at his knees. That’s not cool. That hit should be illegal…. You shouldn’t be knifing in at a guy’s knees when they’re not able to protect themselves.”

“You’re supposed to tackle him like a real tackle,” Winslow added. “My hit vs. Detroit (to prevent an interception by jarring the ball the loose from a defensive player) last week: That’s a real tackle. That’s an old-school tackle. You wrap up. You hit with your shoulder, not your head anyway. That’s how you tackle… not when you’re not able to protect yourself.

Swearinger defended himself by saying that “with the rules in this era, you’ve got to hit low.”

Winslow said that the league should examine low hits to defenseless players with the same vigor as helmet-to-helmet hits. After an impassioned few tweets over the weekend, Winslow clarified that he didn’t think that knee injuries were worse than head injuries. However, he believes the league needs to do more to prevent plays the like the one that knocked out Keller.

“On Twitter, it came out wrong,” Winslow said. “They should (penalize) for those hits the way they’re going after helmet-to-helmet. You’re a defenseless receiver who can’t protect yourself.  You can’t see what’s coming… They shouldn’t be able to knife in at your knees when you’re not able to protect yourself.”

“I just think the helmet-to-helmet rule is so up in the air,” Winslow added. “They don’t even know what they’re calling…. To protect the concussions, they should mandate mouthpieces. That’s what should really happen.”

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