New England and Philadelphia are in the midst of the second half in a hotly contested Super Bowl. The Patriots, however, will have to play the rest of the game without one of their biggest offensive weapons.
Early in the second quarter, with New England driving and down 9-3, Brandin Cooks hauled in a deep pass from Tom Brady. Cooks had some running room, but as he looked for a seam, he was blind-sided by a brutal hit from Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins.
After the hit, Cooks lay motionless on the ground.
Brandin Cooks takes a big hit 😳pic.twitter.com/pLpUVISend— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) February 5, 2018
Brandin Cooks did NOT have his head on a swivel pic.twitter.com/3bf9Wt60MC— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) February 5, 2018
He was ruled out from returning with a "head injury"—though New England did not specify that it was a concussion, that seems to go without saying.
#Patriots injury update: Brandin Cooks (head) has been ruled out for the game.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 5, 2018
Naturally, people were taken aback by the vicious hit to the head. It was a sobering moment in the grand spectacle that is the Super Bowl.
Plays like Malcolm Jenkins unloading on Brandin Cooks helmet-to-helmet from behind cannot continue if the NFL doesn't want more fans to walk away. No penalty? This rule has to change in the offseason if we still respect human life. pic.twitter.com/U1MeZdYJkp— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) February 5, 2018
Brandin Cooks pic.twitter.com/q0NUiOc5X2— ZooMass (@ZooMass) February 5, 2018
Malcolm Jenkins absolutely blew up Brandin Cooks -- officials quickly motioned to the Patriots sideline to get trainers out there.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 5, 2018
Cooks being sidelined is a huge loss for New England.
Brady is especially going to have a hard time scoring against this deep pass rush without Brandin Cooks threatening deep. Big trouble.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 5, 2018
This season, Cooks, whom New England had acquired from New Orleans in the offseason, racked up 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. The speedy Cooks was Brady's favorite down-field target.