Originally Posted by tony hipchest
clarks hit was boarderline bush league but its his job to instill fear in the ball cather/carrier.
if a runner falls to the ground, a defender can legally touch him down or spear him in the back of the head/neck with all his might.
the player showing sportsmanship will simply conserve energy (and reduce possible self inflicted injury) and simply tag the runner down.
Look at the hit that KO'd RG3 as an example. He was angling to the sideline, and it was pretty clear he was going to down himself. Still, he got his head torn off, when alternatively a touch would have handled it.
When you see a 285lb monster coming for you, you can either assume he'll obey the rules of a gentleman, or you can protect yourself, just in case. If you want to be a hero and extend yourself to catch balls in traffic, you have to expect to get wrecked from time to time.