September 17, 2018 / 1:22 AM / 8 months ago

NFL notebook: Bills RB takes helmet-to-head hit

Buffalo running back Taiwan Jones left the Bills’ game against the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter Sunday after he took a brutal hit to his bare head in the end zone.

Sep 16, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills trainers attend to running back Taiwan Jones (26) after being hurt on a kickoff during the second half against the Los Angeles Chargers at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Murphy muffed a punt into the end zone. Jones scooped the ball, was hit and had his helmet come off. Jones was struck again, this time by Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu in a helmet-to-head hit.

Jones walked off the field with the training staff, and the front of his white headband was clearly bloodied. The play was called a touchback, and Nwosu was given a personal-foul penalty. Officials did not appear to whistle the play dead after Jones’ helmet came off.

—Bills cornerback Vontae Davis pulled himself from the same game, telling coach Sean McDermott “he was done.”

McDermott spoke with reporters after Buffalo’s 31-20 loss and explained that the 30-year-old Davis voluntarily left the game in the first half and did not return.

Davis started Sunday’s game after being a healthy scratch in Week 1. Phillip Gaines, who started at right cornerback in Week 1, was carted off with an elbow injury and did not return.

—Left tackle Jason Peters and wide receiver Mike Wallace left the Philadelphia Eagles’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to injury and did not return.

Peters, who left after just two plays, told reporters after the game that he aggravated a quad injury that he initially sustained in the season opener. However, he expects to be ready for the Eagles’ Week 3 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Wallace was carted off the field — clearly upset with a towel on his head — after sustaining an ankle injury in the first quarter. He was quickly ruled out. Wallace was seen in the locker room with a walking boot after the game.

—Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit on sliding Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton tucked the ball and ran on fourth-and-4 early in the second quarter, picked up the first down and then slid. As he went down, Kazee arrived from deep in the secondary and lowered his head, making helmet-to-helmet contact and drawing a flag for unnecessary roughness.

A fracas ensued between the two teams as Newton remained down injured. Newton was taken to the medical tent to be evaluated for a concussion while officials sorted things out on the field. After a discussion, Kazee was ejected. Panthers wideout Torrey Smith was given a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, which offset with Kazee’s foul after the fourth-down conversion. Newton returned without missing a play.

—Detroit running back LeGarrette Blount was ejected early in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 30-27 loss after coming off the bench to shove San Francisco 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee in an apparent retaliatory move.

Lee had just hit Matthew Stafford near the sideline as the Lions quarterback finished an 8-yard run after a scramble. The hit by Lee was not flagged, but it happened directly in front of the Detroit sideline and appeared to upset several players, including Blount.

Blount, who had not been in on the play, came across the sideline into the field, said some words and gave a hard shove up high to Lee, who was knocked over. Blount was suspended for almost the entire 2009 season in college at Oregon for throwing a punch at an opposing player after a loss.

—The New England Patriots lost two defensive players with concussions in their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Defensive end Trey Flowers left the game in the first quarter, and safety Patrick Chung, who was also returning punts, left later in the first half.

Flowers ran into teammate Keionta Davis while trying to tackle Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles. He lay on the ground briefly before heading for medical tent and then down the tunnel to the locker room.

Chung appeared to get hurt during a Jacksonville try for the extra point. Word came during the third quarter that Chung would not return.

—Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson left in the first quarter and was quickly ruled out due to a left knee injury.

Robinson got rolled up on and spent several minutes on the ground. A pair of trainers began helping him off the field before he stopped them and was able to limp off under his own power.

Robinson, who turns 23 next month, started 15 games as a rookie after the Jaguars took him in the second round of the 2017 draft. Josh Wells, who has four starts in 33 career games, replaced Robinson on Bortles’ blind side.

—The Buccaneers lost a pair of starters against the Eagles, as defensive tackle Beau Allen and safety Chris Conte both left and were ruled out.

Allen, who sustained a foot injury, has been relied on heavily next to Gerald McCoy with rookie first-rounder Vita Vea and free agent signee Mitch Unrein each out with their own injuries.

Conte, who had seven tackles, sustained a knee injury. He was replaced by rookie fourth-round pick Jordan Whitehead, who finished with six tackles.

—Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley left the team’s 34-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter with cramps and did not return.

Gurley had 22 touches for 73 total yards and three touchdowns, including a score late in the third quarter to put the Rams up 27-0, before departing. He was deemed questionable to return but was not needed with the game out of hand.

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein injured his groin during pregame warmups and did not play. Punter Johnny Hekker hit a 20-yard field goal in the second quarter, and the team succeeded on two-point conversions on after each of its first three touchdowns.

—For the second straight week, Lions defensive back Darius Slay sustained a concussion while trying to make a tackle.

Slay went down immediately after colliding with 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk on a third-quarter play. He did not return.

Slay was replaced by Teez Tabor, who started the game in Slay’s place but was removed after a miscommunication led to the 49ers’ first touchdown.

—Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald left in the second half and was deemed questionable to return with a hamstring injury, but he did not see additional action.

Fitzgerald had three catches for 28 yards before leaving.

—Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook left during overtime against the Green Bay Packers because of a hamstring injury and did not return.

However, Cook told reporters afterward that his hamstring was fine. He had 13 touches for 90 total yards in the 29-29 tie.

The Vikings also lost right tackle Rashod Hill to an ankle injury, though the issue reportedly was minor.

—Denver starting right tackle Jared Veldheer left the Broncos’ win on Sunday in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.

Veldheer is in his first season with the Broncos after spending four seasons apiece with the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals.

—Field Level Media

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