There’s a new helmet-to-helmet rule in the NFL, and former Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan is a good reason why it was implemented.
According to the new rule, players will be penalized 15 yards and possibly disqualified from the game depending on the severity of the hit, specifically if the player lowers their head to initiate contact.
It’s a rule very similar to the targeting rule in college football, except NFL players can now be ejected, fined, and even suspended for several games for illegal hits.
When asked about the new rule change, Trevathan said he knew a big part of it had to do with a controversial hit he had last season.
“I understand the rule,” Trevathan told The Athletic. “I was an example of the rule.”
This was the play in question from last season, where he knocked out Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers.
Adams was hospitalized but ended up avoiding any serious injuries.
After the hit, Trevathan said it wasn’t intentional and he was just doing his job.
“I was just trying to make a play. It wasn’t intentional. I was just trying to do my job and he ended up getting hurt,” Trevathan said, via NFL.com. “I’m sorry about that and I’m going to reach out to him.”
Trevathan said he wasn’t a dirty player and didn’t deserve a suspension, though the league eventually forced him to sit out for two games.
“I don’t think it should be a suspension, but you never know,” he said. “I’m just going to send a prayer out. My main concern was that he’s OK.”
Despite missing four games due to injury and suspension, the former Kentucky linebacker led the team with 89 tackles and was the only member of the defense to record a sack (2), interception (1), forced fumble (1) and fumble recovery (1), per ChicagoBears.com.
He missed the first ten days of training camp this offseason due to a hamstring injury, but returned today for the first time. In his first media appearance, Trevathan acknowledged he has lofty goals for the 2018-19 season.
“We want to be the best defense in the league,” Trevathan said. “There’s no settling. We want to get back to it. We had a glimpse of that last year; we ended up being one of the top 10 defenses. Now we’re more hungry. We’ve got some guys back that know the defense, so it’s all about getting together, working together. Let’s go out here and get this thing done.”