Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes will be out for the rest of the season after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against the Oakland Raiders, the team announced on Monday.
Hayes left the game after sacking quarterback Derek Carr in the first quarter of Miami's 28-20 win over Oakland.
He suffered the injury when he attempted to roll off Carr in order to avoid a roughing-the-passer penalty.
"He was trying to not put body weight on the quarterback," Miami coach Adam Gase said, via ESPN. "His foot got caught in the ground."
The NFL amended its roughing-the-passer rule before the start of season to state a defender "is responsible for avoiding landing on the quarterback when taking him to the ground" and has already handed down 21 roughing-the-passer penalties this season.
Gase was asked if the rule change led to Hayes' injury.
"I'm just telling you what happened," he said. "I'm just telling you what he did."
Several players weighed in on Hayes' injury, including team-mate Akeem Spence and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.
"It sucks because he was trying to protect the quarterback while still trying to make the play, and it's a double-edged sword," Spence said on Monday. "What do you expect us to do? We know the rule, but we don't know the ins and outs.
"Let's be honest, that's a difficult rule to gauge."
Sherman tweeted out his frustration.
"They don't care about the rest of us getting hurt," he wrote. "Long as the QB is safe."
The league has stood by recent roughing-the-passer penalties, including one called on Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
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