Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, coach Adam Gase confirmed Monday.
Hayes suffered the injury while sacking Oakland quarterback Derek Carr in the second quarter of the undefeated Dolphins’ 28-20 win against the Raiders on Sunday.
According to Gase, Hayes got his foot “caught in the ground” while “trying not to put body weight on the quarterback,” a response to the NFL’s emphasis on roughing-the-passer penalties this season. Hayes appeared to attempt to pivot his lower body to the right while taking down Carr, with his right leg extended away from the QB.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted in response to the news Monday, writing, “They don’t care about the rest of us getting hurt. Long as the QB is safe.”
Miami defensive lineman Akeem Spence voiced frustration Monday over his teammate’s injury, saying players don’t know how to properly sack the quarterback given the wealth of flags being thrown around the league.
“It sucks because he was trying to protect the quarterback while still trying to make the play, and it’s a double-edged sword,” Spence said. “What do you expect us to do? We know the rule, but we don’t know the ins and outs. And then I saw Clay Matthews, he had another [roughing-the-passer penalty] yesterday. What do you want the guy to do? You gotta put the guy down. How much is too much weight? What technique do you use? How do you go about it? We are still asking questions just like y’all [the media] are.
“Let’s be honest, that’s a difficult rule to gauge.”
“It hurts,” Gase said. “He’s one of our leaders in the locker room. ... That’s going to be a tough one to swallow.”
Hayes, 33, recorded two sacks during Miami’s 3-0 start. He is in his second season with the Dolphins after four years with the Titans (2008-11) and five with the Rams (2012-16). He has 37.5 career sacks in 137 games.
—Field Level Media