In some parts of New Jersey, it’s a sign of appreciation and respect when one of your good friends gives you a smack or punches you. A little something that lets you know that this person cares about you enough to give you just a little bit of physical harm but not too much.
New Jersey-based football players seem to be taking that notion to heart this weekend. On Saturday, Rutgers center Michael Maietti congratulated quarterback Artur Sitkowski for his touchdown pass by punching him in the head so hard that Sitkowski had no recollection of the incident after the game.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 21, 2019
Then on Sunday, New York Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree was racing down the sidelines with the ball following a Jameis Winston’s fumble when teammate Jabrill Peppers pushed him to the ground before he could get all the way to the endzone.
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) September 22, 2019
Out of context, that looks insane. In context, it…actually doesn’t make much sense either.
The fumble ended up getting ruled an incompletion on replay, so whatever might have happened on this run was moot anyway. But that still doesn’t really explain why Peppers decided to push his teammate to the ground halfway to a touchdown. It’s possible that Peppers was pushing off of Ogletree in order to block an approaching defender and didn’t think he’d actually knock him down, but that’s still terrible logic.
The best part, if you can call it that, is that Ogletree was slow to get up and apparently injured himself on the play. He left the game with an apparent hamstring issue and his prognosis is currently unknown.
All of which is to say that Jabrill Peppers shouldn’t be tackling his own guys.