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Report: Derek Barnett will not be suspended for late hit on Jamaal Williams

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Fortunate.

Philadelphia Eagles v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett will NOT be suspended for his late hit on Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams, according to a report from NFL insider Adam Schefter.

The hit occurred on the Packers’ first offensive snap of the night. Here’s a replay:

Nigel Bradham had Williams wrapped up for no gain but Barnett came in late with clear helmet-to-helmet contact.

It’s really not that crazy to think Barnett could’ve/should’ve been ejected for this. This was an extremely reckless decision that ultimately led to Williams getting stretchered off the field and sent to the hospital.

Thankfully, Williams seems to be okay.

Barnett explained his side of the story via the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane:

“I was running to the ball and I didn’t hear a whistle. I went in and tried to tackle him because we’re playing football. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody because it’s our livelihood so I don’t wish [harm] upon nobody. And I heard he’s doing he’s alright, he’s good. I told him my apologies. He knows it’s a violent sport.”

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson also weighed in on the hit during his Friday press conference.

Q: Did you get another look at Barnett’s hit? And what did you think of it?

PEDERSON: Um, gosh. It was close. I mean, it’s hard to tell, even during the ... last night, kind of replaying it in my mind, when the whistle blew, and this and that and the other. But guys are still fighting, [Williams] was obviously still fighting for extra yards, and it’s just unfortunate. We don’t need that type of hit, obviously. But it was right about the time the whistle blew so it was right at impact.

Q: Is that kind of a tightrope for him, too, because he plays with such aggression? He plays always to the whistle, he has a high motor.

PEDERSON: Yeah, we instruct our players to play to the whistle. And sometimes in loud stadiums like that it’s hard to hear what’s going on. It’s unfortunate and obviously I hope the player himself is healthy and can bounce back.

Upon rewatching the replay, the whistle DOES occur as Barnett is already taking his momentum to make the hit. Still, it’s a dumb play. Barnett had enough time to recognize Williams was wrapped up by Bradham with a couple of other defenders nearby.

Barnett’s made some not very smart decisions this season. In Week 1, he had that really bad offside penalty against Washington. This play turned a 2nd-and-10 from the Packers’ own 11-yard line to 1st-and-10 from their own 26. Four plays later and the Packers were on the board first, 7 to 0.

Barnett obviously earned some redemption with a huge strip-sack on Aaron Rodgers to allow the Eagles to go up 21 to 13. He was hardly all bad in this game.

Still, Barnett needs to be smarter moving forward. He’s fortunate that he’s not getting suspended for this hit. He won’t be dodging a fine.