The rules are pretty cut and dried in the NFL right now. If you deliberately throw a punch, you’re getting ejected from a game.
But what if that weren’t the case? What if the NFL were more like the NHL?
Last Thursday, Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan proposed that question. While it would absolutely never be allowed, it got us thinking anyway:
The @NFL should take a page out of the @NHL book and let us fight.— Taylor Lewan (@TaylorLewan77) February 9, 2017
Again, there is zero chance of this being given the okay by the league. Commissioner Roger Goodell’s administration is doing everything they can to push the public perception that they are interested in preserving their players’ health (at least, as long as it doesn’t impact Thursday night football games), and allowing fighting would be in direct contrast to that aim.
Still, that got us thinking: if players had to just sit out a couple of plays instead of getting tossed out for throwing punches, which Packers would be most likely to be the NFL equivalent of an NHL enforcer?
We could go through plenty of past Packers, but Charles Martin is probably an obvious choice after his dirty hit on Jim McMahon. As for the current roster, we have a few names to consider on the current team below.
Daniels plays angry and has, on occasion, taken some ill-advised penalties when getting too aggressive. He seems like a logical choice. His wrestling background would give him some help here as well. The kicker here is that you would not want him mixing it up and missing significant time. As one of the Packers’ very best defensive players - if not the best - he’s the kind of guy you don’t want throwing punches too much since you can’t afford to have him off the field for any length of time.
No stranger to mixing it up in the trenches himself, Lang is also an avid fan of hockey - particularly the Detroit Red Wings. I guarantee that he learned a thing or two from watching Darren McCarty and company protect Steve Yzerman in the early 1990s. Besides, there’s a clear comparison there to being Aaron Rodgers’ protector as well.
See Lang above, except substitute the Chicago Blackhawks for the Red Wings.
This one is purely for aesthetic reasons - it would be hilarious to see Ripkowski’s giant red beard flying around as he wrestles and takes a few swings at a scrappy linebacker.