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D.J. Swearinger: I hit Dustin Keller low to avoid NFL fine

Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger has taken quite a bit of heat for his low hit that shredded the knee of Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller.

Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo was among those critical of Swearinger, but Clabo said the rookie wasn't listening on the field because "he was doing his little dance or whatever" after the play.

Swearinger insists that he was playing according to league rules that mandate avoiding dangerous blows to the head.

"I was making a hit playing football. In this league, you've got to go low. If you go high, you're going to get a fine," Swearinger told Andrew Abramson of The Palm Beach Post. "I'm sorry that happened. I would think you'd rather have more concussions than leg injuries. Leg injury, you can't come back from that. A concussion, you be back in a couple of weeks."

To Swearinger's credit, he also took to Twitter to request prayers for Keller.


Keller's career-threatening knee injury has led to a debate on the merits of hitting high versus low, but it's unlikely to instigate a rule change. Now that the NFL has a more enlightened view of the long-term effects of brain trauma, there's no turning back on the emphasis toward the prevention of concussions.

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