Osi Umenyiora looks at the NFL's attempts to reduce head injuries a bit differently than some current players do.

By Khadrice Rollins
December 06, 2017

Former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora called it "ridiculous" for current players to complain about the NFL's efforts to reduce hits to the head with more penalties and suspensions.

"Are players really this dumb?" Umenyiora tweeted. "Hate to say it but cmon. Former players have died and are dying horrible deaths because of head trauma. And you're complaining because the league is taking steps to at least try and reduce it. 'Make it flag football.' Ridiculous."

The "Make it flag football" part is in reference to Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, who ranted Wednesday about the league's attempts to limit hits to the head. Mitchell bashed the league for the way the game is now regulated when it comes to certain hits happening during play and he also commented on the way suspensions are issued and appealed thanks to the current collective bargaining agreement.

After Monday's game between the Steelers and the Bengals, Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati safety George Iloka were both suspended one game for illegal hits. Both players appealed and while Smith-Schuster's suspension was upheld, Iloka's was rescinded.

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This comes after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was also suspended for one game for hitting Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White on the head after the play while White was on the ground. White was placed in concussion protocol due to Gronkowski's hit and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who received the block that caused Smith-Schuster's suspension, was diagnosed with a concussion.

On Wednesday, the league said it is looking into implementing a targeting rule similar to college football that would cause players to be ejected for certain illegal hits.

Umenyiora played 11 years in the NFL after being drafted by the Giants in the second round in 2003. He spent nine years with New York and won two Super Bowls and made the All-Pro team in 2005. He played the last two years of his career with the Falcons. Umenyiora had 85 sacks, 35 forced fumbles and 14 fumble recoveries in his career.

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