Dustin Keller

Chargers report: Defensive backs must find the middle ground on hits

Chargers report: Defensive backs must find the middle ground on hits

NFL defensive backs sometimes feel like major league pitchers who are getting squeezed by umpires — they’re confused by a shrinking strike zone.

The league, in an attempt to reduce brain injuries, has tried to crack down on helmet-to-helmet contact, giving referees the authority to eject players for violent, “egregious” hits to the head, though that didn’t prevent Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan’s skull-rattling hit of Green Bay receiver Davante Adams last week.

Defenders are trying to lower their targets while tackling pass-catchers, but like one of those “unwritten rules” in baseball, receivers have made it clear they don’t want their legs targeted with hits that could...

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