Chargers safety Derwin James had his Monday night end early against the Colts when he was ejected for one of the biggest hits of his career.
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James appeared to lead with the crown of his helmet as he hit Colts receiver Ashton Dulin, who was ruled to be defenseless as he attempted to catch a pass from Nick Foles in the second quarter.
Derwin James ejected after one of the biggest hits in recent memory pic.twitter.com/TuyvNDAFaX
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 27, 2022
While it looked as though James was aiming for Dulin’s shoulder and made contact with it first, leading with the head against a defenseless player often leads to an ejection. James was seen pointing to his shoulder as he walked off the field, as if to say he hit Dulin’s shoulder.
Dulin was later ruled out with a concussion. James also appeared to be shaken up on the play, and Brandon Staley revealed after the game that he entered concussion protocol as well.
#Chargers HC Brandon Staley said safety Derwin James is in concussion protocol after the hit which got him ejected.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 27, 2022
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James was making his return to action Monday after missing two games with an injury. He had made his presence felt in the first quarter with an impressive interception of Foles.
.@DerwinJames goes up to make the incredible interception 🔥
— NFL (@NFL) December 27, 2022
Though he has a reputation as a heavy hitter, this was James’ first NFL ejection.
The Chargers are looking to clinch their first playoff berth since 2018. They will need James in the coming weeks if they want to solidify their positioning and make a run. It’s unknown whether the NFL will further discipline James.