INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Matthew Adams knew something was up. Something not good.
As the Indianapolis Colts’ rookie linebacker was getting ready to celebrate his first career sack Sunday at Jacksonville, there were only a couple of teammates around to share the moment. Clayton Geathers offered a chest-bump. Denico Autry gave a hand slap.
“Yeah, you kind of know when your teammates aren’t coming to celebrate,’’ Adams said Wednesday. “That’s when you know.
“Everybody was looking, standing around . . . ‘There’s a flag right there.’’’
Adams lined up to the left of the Colts’ defensive formation, a few yards to the left of end Jabaal Sheard’s shoulder. He came on a blitz, and was unblocked.
“I had a lot of speed and momentum,’’ Adams said. “I tried to move my head to the side, but couldn’t.’’
Just before Adams arrived, Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler saw him and began to hunker down and brace for the collision.
Adams’ sack was erased by a yellow flag on the field. As referee Alex Kemp described it: “Personal foul, lowering the head to initiate contact, defense, No. 49.’’
Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard wanted to congratulate his teammate, but never got the opportunity.
“As soon as it happened, we saw the flag,’’ he said. “I honestly didn’t know what the flag was for because I thought it was a clean hit.
“I was going to go celebrate with him. After the call was made I was kind of in shock.’’
The next shock figures to come later this week. That’s when a package from the NFL probably will arrive at Adams’ locker informing him of a fine for violating the leading-with-the-helmet rule. Rookie guard Quenton Nelson was fined $26,739 for leading with his helmet on a play versus the Jaguars in week 10.
If the letter arrives, Adams said, “I’m going to appeal.’’
Could he have done something different to avoid the penalty and possible fine?
“Lower my target zone,’’ Adams said. “I was aiming for the chest, but you’ve got to anticipate the quarterback ducking down and bracing himself.’’
Tight end Jack Doyle has been selected by his teammates as recipient of the 2018 Ed Block Courage Award. The award is given out annually to a player who exhibits courageous play.
Doyle earned his first Pro Bowl berth last season, but was placed on the injured reserve list last week after suffering a kidney injury against Miami.
“Any time you are voted on by your peers, it brings a whole new meaning to the award,’’ Doyle said in a team release.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.