Jul 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger (36) practices during training camp at Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans D.J. Swearinger says he hit Miami Dolphins Dustin Keller in knees to avoid fine


Well, NFL, I guess you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The league of course reacts harshly to any blows to the head, so when Houston Texans rookie safety hit Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller during Saturday’s preseason game, he went for the knees on purpose.

It resulted in Keller suffering a catastrophic, possibly career ending injury which saw the former Purdue product tear his ACL, PCL and MCL, all while suffering a dislocated right knee and possible nerve damage.

Swearinger had no ill intent though, but told the Palm Beach Post he went for his knees to avoid any potential ramifications from the league.

Per the Palm Beach Post:

But Swearinger told me after the game that he was forced to hit low because of the league rules that fine players for making hits to the head.

“I was making a hit playing football,” Swearinger said. “In this league you’ve got to go low. If you go high you’re going to get a fine.”

Teammates of Keller didn’t see it the same way:

Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo had some words for Swearinger after the hit but he said it’s all a blur.

“If I did (talk to Swearinger) he wasn’t listening,” Clabo said. “He was doing his little dance or whatever he was doing.”

Tags: D.J. Swearinger Dustin Keller Houston Texans Miami Dolphins

  • Don Devine

    I’ve looked at the tape a couple of times and I cant say that he went for the knees on purpose or not but to then come out and say he did so because he wanted to avoid fines is total crap. First off, if you think you can only legally tackle a guy iby hitting him in the knees the way Swearinger did then you need to remove yourself from the game. This league is for professionals only. Supposedly. Now after hearing his comment ad knowing how Houston lost their WR earlier in the game makes me wonder loudly if indeed the hit to Keller was intentional payback.

    • AL

      Seriously doubt it was intentional. If Keller’s cleats weren’t still in the ground when he got hit, he would have had a sprained knee at worst. Like most catastrophic injuries, it was perfectly terrible timing on all accounts. No one wins in these situations and Swearinger did say he felt bad when he saw Keller not get up.

      • Don Devine

        I hope not because man that injury not only ended his career but Keller may not even be able to walk the same again! Still I think hitting him in the knees like that was totally uncalled for. If he could not make an easy open field tackle at the torso or hip level then he probably should not be on the field. Its hard to say if itwas intentional or not. Theres only two that really know and one of them is Swearinger, the other is waitin on him.

    • Louie Partain

      Donnie boy, Swearing didn’t say he went for the knees on purpose. He said he went LOW because the league will fine you for going high!!!

      • Don Devine

        Miho I have said my piece on this and that is as it is. If you cant make a clean hit, get outta the league.