The Chicago Bears have announced that rookie safety Brandon Hardin will be placed on injured reserve.
Hardin injured his neck during the team's 33-31 preseason victory over the Washington Redskins on Aug. 18. Hardin went to tackle Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen, and used poor technique in doing so. He lowered his head at the point of impact which is what kids are told never to do when they're first learning how to play football.
After the hit, which was on Paulsen's hip, Hardin fell to the ground and needed to be taken off the field on a stretcher. He never lost consciousness or motion, but the Bears front office still viewed the injury as serious enough to land the third-round pick on IR.
According to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, Hardin displayed this poor tackling style prior to this incident, and had been warned by coaches and teammates that he was risking injury to not only himself, but others.
Players are taught to see what they hit, meaning, in short to keep your head up. Leading with a lowered head can cause a serious neck injury because it 'jams' the spinal column. This seems to be what happened for Hardin, who will now miss the entire season.
This is sad news for the rookie and the Bears as a whole as safety is still a question mark. However, this incident is also a valuable lesson for all defensive players. Don't lead with your head down!
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