Damontae Kazee has been ejected from the Falcons’ Week 2 game against the Panthers after a helmet-to-helmet tackle on Cam Newton early in the second quarter. It’s a move that is difficult to defend in the moment and may result in the second year safety being suspended for at least one game, though that’s off in the future a bit.
If you didn’t see the play, here it is:
Kazee is gonna be ejected for this. Late hit, helmet to helmet pic.twitter.com/hxZf3vJvqQ— Carlton (@SlopingGiraffe) September 16, 2018
I think Kazee simply built up a head of steam too late in this play, and when Cam Newton started to slide, he failed to adjust. Regardless of intent—and we’ll be debating that for a while—the result of the play was a helmet-to-helmet hit in a league where helmet-to-helmet hits are being penalized more than ever. It also put Cam Newton in the medical tent, however briefly, and led to the ejection. Just a catastrophically bad play from a player who was very much on the rise for this Atlanta defense, and a mistake the team’s going to pay for in the weeks to come.
We’re glad to see Newton’s okay—even if he did lead a touchdown drive after this play—and we’ll hope that Kazee has both a good explanation and the luck to avoid a suspension after this one.