Near the end of the first week of Miami Dolphins training camp, Jay Ajayi suffered a concussion from a hit by T.J. McDonald in full pads. Some are frustrated with the new safety, but there is a different, more reasonable, way to view the situation.
Jay Ajayi is the starting running back for the Miami Dolphins, this will not change. He has also grown to become one of the fan favorites over the past year. When reports surfaced that he had suffered a concussion, the fans began to worry (as they should) and feared the worst for their Pro Bowl running back.
When looking back, it was discovered that T.J. McDonald was the player who popped Ajayi and caused the concussion, leading fans to believe it was with malicious intent.
Fans were quick to assume that he did it on purpose, and it makes sense to them because he is only here on a one year deal… he must be here to injure some of our key players.
This is absolute stupidity. Yes, McDonald hit Ajayi as hard as he could to get him to the ground. Yes, it was a very hard hit; harder than most safeties would have done. Yes, it was that exact hit that prompted Jay Train to leaved practice and enter concussion protocol.
But no, McDonald had zero intention of causing Ajayi to miss time.
T.J. McDonald is a hard hitting safety. That is what he brings to the defense. Every player he brings down, he is going to hit as hard as he possibly can. He knows no other way to play the game, and that is a good thing. We want a player with that ferocity on this defense.
Instead of raising eyebrows, fans should be joyous that there is a new weapon in the secondary. The man brings thunder to this defense. Opposing teams are going to keep an eye on him at all times, and that is exactly what we want.
Jay Ajayi is no small man. Bringing him to the ground is hard enough as it. So when a defender (especially a safety) pops him and shakes him up, that is a true testament to how that defender plays.
If McDonald can bring Ajayi down like he did, imagine what he can do to Mike Gillislee, Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, LeSean McCoy and other running backs this defense will see.
McDonald will bring some firepower to the safety position that already had Pro Bowler Reshad Jones. There is going to be a multitude of big hits coming from the safety position when the second half of the 2017 comes around.
I know eight games is a long time to wait, but it could be well worth it for this defense. T.J. McDonald is going to be a star in this defense and should be extended following the 2017 season.
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