Dolphins Defensive End William Hayes Tears ACL Trying to Avoid Sack Penalty

Adam Gase has revealed that William Hayes suffered an ACL injury in Sunday’s win over the Oakland Raiders while trying to avoid the new NFL sack penalty.

Dolphins defensive end William Hayes will miss the rest of the NFL season after suffering an anterior crucial ligament injury on Sunday.

Hayes suffered the injury while trying not to put body weight on the quarterback, according to head coach Adam Gase. The defensive end sacked QB Derek Carr on a third down, forcing the Raiders into a three and out, but it came at a price.

Under new rules, defensive players must avoid landing on a quarterback with their body weight when making a sack, otherwise, they will be charged with a ‘roughing the passer’ penalty.

It’s a rule that has already come under plenty of criticism with quarterbacks getting over-protected, but seemingly at the expense of injuries to players in defensive positions.

Hayes is one of those players after he adjusted his approach to avoid the penalty, only for his foot to get stuck in the ground, causing a tear in his ACL.

“William Hayes will be out for the season.” – Dolphins head coach Adam Gase

“He tore his ACL on that sack. He was trying to not put body weight on the quarterback, so his foot got caught in the ground. It hurts. He’s one of our leaders, probably one of the best guys in the locker room, best run defender, that’s going to be a tough one for us to swallow.”

It’s a big blow for the Dolphins who will now face a big challenge against the Patriots on Sunday to protect their unbeaten start to the season.

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Gase’s list of key inactives is already growing, but that hasn’t stopped the Dolphins making it to 3-0 to start the season.

They’ve already fought through adversity to get to this point, coming through a huge test against the Raiders on Sunday.

And that was the main positive for Gase. He added; “I think there are a lot of good things that came out of it. Guys fought, they fought until the end, never gave up.

“We lose Spence on an ejection, we had multiple injuries, the D-line was low on numbers and it was not a cool breezy day.

“The guys did a really good job of trying to rotate in there and fight. We found a couple of ways to get explosive plays to where we can get the lead and get the win.”