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Paris Johnson Explains His Penalty, And Will Hernandez Understands

Rookie tackle flagged for pulling someone off a pile

Call it a learning curve -- but also the right mentality.

Rookie tackle Paris Johnson Jr. was flagged in the opener for 15 yards at a crucial time -- just after QB Joshua Dobbs had fumbled the snap and the Cardinals losing by a point in the fourth quarter -- when Johnson pulled a Washington player off of Dobbs in the ensuing pile. Johnson understands he can't do that.


"That's an error probably a lot of other guys on the team probably wouldn't have made," Johnson said. "For me, I didn't know that was a rule. If you rewatch it, I'm standing there for like a minute-and-a-half that this 300-pound guy is just laying on the quarterback. I'm like, 'Alright.' There comes a time where you're just like, 'Let's get him off.' I'm not trying to throw him. I trying to pick him up so the quarterback can get up because I asked the refs and they had no reaction.

"I understand they don't want people to get hurt from doing that, from pulling people off the pile maliciously. I understand that now. In the moment, it doesn't matter, I'm a tackle, I have to protect the quarterback. There is a game going on. I should be able to get him. If I was laying there I'd be like, Dude, you guys just looking at me right now?'"

At that moment, guard Will Hernandez piped up from behind the media crowd.

"To sum it up," Hernandez said, "get the (expletive) off our quarterback."

Johnson smiled. "What he said. What I can't say."

Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (70) during the Week 1 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Sep 10, 2023 in Landover, MD.