Brian Cushing knows all about season-ending knee injuries. With defensive players hitting receivers low to stay within league rules that protect the head and neck area, Cushing believes that knee injuries are on the rise.
"Probably," the All-Pro inside linebacker said. "Probably and it's unfortunate. I wish maybe you can find a happy medium between the knee and the head, but obviously guys are so fearful of a fine, such a magnitude of number that these guys are getting fined as. It's ridiculous. Obviously, they want to stay away from that area, but then guys are being lost for the year. It's a lose-lose situation and I don't know. I just think something needs to get done about that. What? I don't know."
With D.J. Swearinger's hit on Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller in Saturday's preseason game, the conversation has taken a new turn. Where the emphasis was on protecting against concussions, the rookie safety's hit, which drew no penalty flags, received much criticism for ending Keller's season. Cushing says that injuries like Keller's are bound to happen to varying degrees of severity in the NFL.
"It's the nature of the game that we play in," Cushing said. "It's a very physical sport and those kinds of things are going to happen. Like you said, it could be completely legal. It could be in the context of completely legal. If something happens where he gets hurt and he can't play anymore and there are so many variations of injuries that can happen too. Guys are just getting bigger and faster and stronger and it leaves no room for injury."