After a slew of helmet-to-helmet hits this past Sunday (4), the NFL is fed up and taking action. On Wednesday, the NFL will announce a new rule which states that players will face suspension for “devastating hits” and/or a “head shots.”
“We can’t and won’t tolerate what we saw Sunday,” [league executive vice president of football operations] Ray Anderson said Monday. “We’ve got to get the message to players that these devastating hits and head shots will be met with a very necessary higher standard of accountability. We have to dispel the notion that you get one free pass in these egregious or flagrant shots.”
“What we saw Sunday was disturbing,” Anderson said. “We’re talking about avoiding life-altering impacts.”
The Monday Night Football pre and post-game crew broke the news (via Chris Mortensen) and had a rather, um, interesting discussion about it (which you can see most of below). Stu Scott ends the segment with a quote from a league coach who also played in the league (Singletary? Del Rio? Whisenhunt? Kubiak? Fisher?), which stresses that NFL players have a choice to play football, that it’s a privilege and, if they don’t want to be hit like this, they don’t have to play.
I’ll say that “devastating hit” should be nowhere near the language of this rule. Is the NFL going to suspend Ray Lewis for his 110% clean, yet “DEVASTATING” hit on Dustin Keller in Week 1? It’d be “devastating” if they did. All the NFL needs to say on Wednesday is they’re going to look out for these reckless helmet-to-helmet hits similar to the ones we saw this past Sunday. If they happen, and the hope is that they won’t, they’ll be met with consequences. No need to add vague phrases that are only going to confuse officials and the likes of Steve Young even more: