Late in the third quarter, Ellington got a handoff, rushed into the crowded line of scrimmage, and felt a tug of his long dreadlocks from above as he was tackled. “I just couldn’t do nothing about it,” he said.
Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin had grabbed hold of Ellington’s hair and emerged from the pile with his arm outstretched and black strands dangling from his fist. He raised the hair like a trophy, then flung it to the turf. Hair is considered part of the NFL uniform, so Babin was not penalized.
“If you wanna have big hair …” one teammate joked in the Jaguars’ locker room after the game.
“Choices, decisions, consequences,” Babin replied.
He also said this has happened before, mentioning he played when horse-collar tackles were legal.
“When you play hard and fast, it’s anything you can grab,” Babin said. “I get pretty emotional and passionate out there. I get to be someone else for three hours.”
Ellington said it didn’t hurt, and credited “adrenaline.”
He shrugged when asked about the hair toss.
“It’s a little taunt but what can you say?” he said. “Hair is an accessory. It was nothing serious. We got the win.”
He also said there was no long-term damage.
Watch the video of the play here