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Dolphins’ Cameron Wake calls NFL enforcement of QB hits ‘sad’

In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, file photo, Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes (95) sacks Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the first half of an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The NFL is getting roughed up over its amplified enforcement of roughing the passer penalties that has produced head-scratching, game-changing calls and a season-ending injury to a defender trying to comply with the leagues mandate not to land on the quarterback. Hayes tore his right ACL trying to avoid landing on Carr. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)
In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, file photo, Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes (95) sacks Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the first half of an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The NFL is getting roughed up over its amplified enforcement of roughing the passer penalties that has produced head-scratching, game-changing calls and a season-ending injury to a defender trying to comply with the leagues mandate not to land on the quarterback. Hayes tore his right ACL trying to avoid landing on Carr. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)
Associated Press

DAVIE, Fla. – Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake has joined other players in complaining about the NFL’s officiating emphasis to discourage quarterback hits.

“It’s sad,” Wake said Friday. “I don’t think it’s a secret that the league is concerned about player safety. It just depends on what players.”

Wake’s teammate, end William Hayes, suffered a season-ending knee injury last week and said his foot caught in the turf as he was trying to avoid landing on Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

Wake said the league should acknowledge that when it comes to player safety, quarterbacks – including Miami’s Ryan Tannehill – come first.

“Just tell me, ‘Listen, we’re going to protect quarterbacks differently,” Wake said. “Just be blunt about it. Not ‘we care about your safety,’ because you don’t care about my safety. You care about some people’s safety. My knees mean just as much to my family and my ability to play and provide just as Tannehill’s does. I can’t understand that his are more important than mine.”

Rulings on quarterback hits have been a source of debate through the first three weeks of the NFL season, with players complaining about a lack of consistency on such calls.

Wake described steps to make football safer an “uphill battle.”

“I think the crowd likes the violence,” he said. “You see plays on TV, you see big hits, you see the oooh’s and the ahh’s, and they like that. That’s what I’m sure helps drive ratings.”

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