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A Tale Of Shirt Tackles, Or What The Cardinals Might've Had

Stretching to bring down a ballcarrier isn't supposed to be this

It's a trend many guys are taking part in these days -- the longer undershirt under their tight jerseys. Just take a look at the field on Sundays. But for the guys who carry and catch the ball, it can cost them.

Not monetarily (I am guessing the NFL uniform police are good with the look). But maybe a yard or two or five. The first week in San Francisco, quarterback Kyler Murray was scrambling and had nearly avoided pass rusher Kerry Hyder Jr. -- except Hyder snared Murray's undershirt and, despite a long stretch, ended up sacking Murray for a loss of five yards. If it weren't for the shirt, Murray certainly would have gotten loose for ... well, something better than a sack.

Against WFT, running back Kenyan Drake was the victim. Or maybe his shirt was. Drake gained eight yards on his play, and as my friend Kent Somers noted on Twitter, he probably could have gained another four or five yards without the shirt pull -- which ultimately just slowed Drake down as it ripped in the hands of linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis but allowed an immediate tackle right after.

(Kent also wondered why Drake was shirt-free later in the game, but he was not -- the equipment staff saw the torn shirt and just trimmed it down for Drake, and made sure it was tucked in.)

The reality? The undershirts aren't going anywhere. The players like them, and coach Kliff Kingsbury is cool with that. There haven't been enough shirt-tackles to be any other way.

"Not yet," Kingsbury said. "They've got to keep their swag up. Look good, play good, for right now. We may get (to a ban) if we get another one."

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) can't escape the grasp of Washington Football Team linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz.