Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram had a scary collision with a TV cart on Monday Night Football during Week 2, and now ESPN and the NFL are reportedly reviewing the rules for TV equipment location to help enhance player safety.
Abram’s crash with the TV cart resulted in a few heart-stopping moments of TV on Monday night. About 10 minutes into the first quarter, Abram skittered directly into the TV cart at high speed, thudding into the side and then laying motionless. It wasn’t immediately clear how badly he was hurt.
Abram hadn’t been knocked out, but the wind had been knocked out of him. He eventually got up and walked off, and returned to the game.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Sunday that Abram’s crash with the cart resulted in a Grade 2 AC joint sprain as well as some internal bleeding after a piece of his collarbone chipped off. He’s expected to start the Raiders’ Week 3 game against the New England Patriots, but a slow-motion view of the collision shows how rough it was and how bad it could have been.
ESPN, NFL discussing location of equipment
Neither ESPN, which broadcast Monday’s game, or the NFL have commented on the Abram incident. The cart was not in violation of any rules, as it was clearly behind the yellow boundary line for broadcast equipment.
However, with COVID-19 protocols limiting the number of people who can be on the sidelines during a game, TV carts can get closer than they typically can. Normally there would be additional team staff and cheerleaders on the sidelines, pushing the TV carts back further and even serving as a human barrier between a careening player and the TV carts.
Rapoport and Pelissero reported on Sunday that “discussions are ongoing” between ESPN and the NFL regarding the placement of TV equipment on the sidelines given the reduced personnel due to COVID-19. Abram’s agent called for the carts close to the game action to be completely padded, but there is no indication that either ESPN or the NFL are discussing that.
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