UPDATE: A CT scan of Floyd’s neck was negative, according to reports. ”He’s doing fine,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy told reporters. “All the tests right now look good. It’s great for the organization to go out and get a win for Malcom.” Floyd joined his teammates on their flight home following a 33-30 win over the Eagles.
San Diego Chargers receiver Malcom Floyd was taken off the field on a stretcher, following a play in which he took a scary-looking hit from Philadelphia linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
As Floyd attempted to catch a Philip Rivers pass over the middle, he was tackled from behind by safety Nate Allen and driven into the shoulder of Ryans, who was racing over to attempt to defend the pass. Floyd dropped the ball -- the play was ruled incomplete -- and then slumped to the turf, where he stayed for several minutes.
Multiple trainers and the on-site medical staff attended to Floyd, while the entire Chargers' sideline came onto the field to form a ring around him in support. Floyd eventually was loaded onto a backboard and then gently rolled off the field on a stretcher, before being taken to a local hospital. He appeared to be conscious and talking to trainers, at least as he was placed onto the stretcher.
The Chargers announced that Floyd had sustained a neck injury, though the team did not offer specifics on the severity.
Neither Allen nor Ryans was penalized for the hit. And though Ryans did not seem to intentionally target Floyd high, the play did highlight the very thin line between a clean hit and a hit on a defenseless receiver. Floyd was still in the process of attempting to complete the catch when Allen and Ryans sandwiched him.
A portion of Rule 12.2 in the NFL's rulebook defines a defenseless receiver as: "A receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner. If the receiver/runner is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player."
Floyd clearly was unable to defend himself against the hit from Ryans, but at what point does the situation change from malicious to simply unfortunate? Had Floyd not been on his way to the ground because of the contact from Allen, Ryans' hit would have been lower on Floyd's body and thus likely not had the same devastating result. The NFL certainly will review the play, despite the lack of a flag. Whether Ryans receives a fine or not falls well behind Floyd's health on causes for concern here.