Anthony Barr’s hit on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers would be a penalty in 2018
Last year, Anthony Barr crushing hit on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers came with some controversy if it was clean or illegal. The NFL came out after the hit and said it was legal and Barr wasn’t fined for his role in breaking Rodgers’ collarbone.
According to NFL referee Pete Morelli, with the new rule changes this offseason, that same hit would not be deemed illegal, and a penalty would have been called on the play.
“Any time a quarterback’s in a defenseless position,” Morelli said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “Players will have to kind of roll to the side when they make that tackle instead of plopping down on them. So, yeah, [the] Aaron Rodgers [hit] would be a foul this year. As long as he’s out of pocket, established, and all that. If he’s running, that’s not the same.”
The NFL rulebook now states, via Pro Football Talk.
“when tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down OR land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight.”
Morelli said this year players will have to work on rolling to the side when tackling a player instead of landing their entire body weight on the player.
How much this penalty will be called is still to be seen but with how much the NFL is trying to cut down on injuries it’s really not a surprise that this is a new rule.