No one stuck a foot where Mahomes and Pollard intended to take their next step, and they were not yanked down by the back of their shoulder pads. Football uniforms are slick. The designs have become progressively tighter and slicker over the last 20 years. Jerseys cling to the pads, and a person would have better luck clinging to an opposing player’s quad muscle than his pants to try and make a tackle.


Of course, players are going to sometimes slip at first contact with the cloth now being an adhesive on their bodies. If the result is defenders falling from offensive players’ hips to their ankles while trying to make a tackle, that is the price of new technology. If the league has a problem with that, then players can go back to wearing pants with the hip pads sticking out, and jerseys that can be untucked with one strong tug.

Sometimes these things just happen

The ankle turn is one of the few injuries in football that has little to do with the violence of the game. A false step on a staircase and you, the person reading this article, might be hobbling at work just like Mahomes. The horse-collar penalty was implemented just under 20 years ago. The rule has achieved its goal, but what happened to Mahomes and Pollard does not in any way meet those criteria.


It sucks when an involuntary foot roll can potentially decide a championship, but those are the breaks in an industry where adults engage in physical competition for money.