The whistle blew, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett came in late with a helmet-to-helmet hit and Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams went down in a heap.
It was a scary way to start “Thursday Night Football.”
Williams seemed to be knocked cold by the late, illegal hit. He was down for a few seconds, tried to get up and trainers had him stay down. He was put a stretcher and wheeled off.
Williams had movement in his extremities, the Packers said. He was seen giving a thumbs up as he left the field.
One of the first players to go to Williams as he was strapped on the stretcher was Barnett.
It was an unfortunate hit but Barnett looked remorseful. Intent aside, Barnett could have been ejected. The helmet-to-helmet hit, especially after the whistle with other Eagles defenders holding him up, was clearly dangerous. It’s one of the hits the NFL is trying to get out of the game.
Barnett stayed in, but Williams left the field on a stretcher, his night obviously done.