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Football Weekend Characterized By Violent Hits

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It was a very tough weekend in football, and the Big East lost a player as Rutgers defensive back Eric LeGrand was paralyzed while making a tackle against Army.

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Former Penn State player Adam Taliaferro, whose career was ended by a spinal cord injury, told the Times that he would get in touch with LeGrand.

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The LeGrand hit wasn't the only rough one in football this weekend, as the Times points out, and the Steelers' James Harrison took hits of his own on the Browns' Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi:

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A day after LeGrand’s injury, scenes of hits to the head repeated across the country in N.F.L. games. On the same field where LeGrand was injured, Detroit Lions linebacker Zack Follett was motionless for several minutes after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul on a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Follett was carted off on a backboard ...

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Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson sustained head injuries Sunday when they collided on a helmet-to-helmet hit in their game. Cleveland Browns receivers Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi were knocked out of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers by hits to the head.

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Harrison's hits weren't as serious as LeGrand's - Cribbs was moving his fingers almost immediately, and Massaquoi was walking around freely after a few seconds.

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But either or both could have concussions. And these hits are part of a broader problem. It's unsurprising that the announcer at the Rutgers game initially described LeGrand's tackle as a "great open-field hit" before realizing that LeGrand was injured on the play. Moments like these remind us that football is a very violent form of entertainment. The toughest, most jarring hits appeal to most football fans on a deep, visceral level, but these hits can take players' lives in dark, dark directions.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.