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Commanders defensive tackle John Ridgeway turned back the clock on Sunday and was penalized in the process. He tapped into his wrestling roots and went full WWE.
The move was egregious and most certainly not allowed, but it was extremely entertaining.
Early in the second quarter, the Texans dumped the ball off to Dameon Pierce. Though he is only a rookie, the running back out of Florida has proved that he can run through just about anybody.
He could not run through Ridgeway.
After getting catching the short pass from Davis Mills behind the line of scrimmage, Pierce turned back up field and the play was whistled dead. Washington did not get that memo. They did not hear the whistle.
As everybody else on the field pulled up, Ridgeway closed in on Pierce, who had tucked his head. To make the tackle, the former picked the latter up by his waist, flipped him over, and threw him down.
The move, which is illegal and flagged accordingly, fell somewhere between a Suplex and Bautista Bomb— more commonly known as a body slam.
Ridgeway, a 6-foot-5, 321-pound 23-year-old is in his first year in the league. He was picked in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft after starting his career at Illinois State and spending last fall at Arkansas. He landed with the Commanders in October.
Prior to his college and professional football career, Ridgeway was the Illinois state heavyweight wrestling champion as a senior. That skillset was on full display during his sixth-career NFL game.
The only problem was that the wrestling background was not particularly beneficial because picking a running back up after the whistle and throwing him onto the turf is very much against the rules. Ridgeway, rightfully, was called for a personal foul and Houston moved closer to the goal line where it eventually scored.
Not ideal from Ridgeway, but awesome nonetheless. Especially because Pierce was not hurt.