Because the Bears losing to the Dolphins wasn’t enough of an annoyance, the NFL levied a fine of $20,054 to Leonard Floyd for hitting Brock Osweiler’s head with a glancing blow. And while I understand the NFL’s insistence on prioritizing quarterback safety by issuing severe punishments via fines, I’m not sure this is the type of hit the league had in mind:
Leonard Floyd really roughed up the passer on this flagged play. pic.twitter.com/MFGm2KiIjF
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) October 14, 2018
Again, the NFL appears to be serious about policing head shots and ensuring quarterback health. It’s understandable on both accounts. Quarterbacks are the most important players on the field and the most marketable assets the league has going for it. And when it comes to head trauma, that’s serious business, too. It’s 2018 and there is no denying the serious impact hits to the head can have to a player’s long-term health. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much consistency in the NFL’s rulings when it comes to these blows.
The NFL fined Vikings safety Harrison Smith $10,026 for his hit that injured Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky in Week 11. Trubisky missed Thursday’s win against the Lions because of a shoulder injury suffered on the play. And while the Bears won, Trubisky’s status for the team’s next game in Week 13 will be up in the air until a re-evaluation of the situation is shared publicly.
While we have a moment, let’s re-visit that hit:
Mitch Trubisky aparece en la lista de lesionados con molestia en el hombro derecho. Nuestro mariscal recibió un fuerte golpe cobarde dado con alevosía y ventaja por el safety Harrison Smith en el último cuarto en el juego de ayer frente a los Vikingos de Minesota.#VamosOsos pic.twitter.com/MG1JnZ2s89
— Osos de Chicago (@Osos_de_Chicago) November 20, 2018
Still hurts every time I re-watch it.
Smith plans to appeal the decision, but I’m not sure I like his chances of a favorable outcome. Because while Trubisky didn’t partake in a traditional feet-first slide, the league no longer makes distinctions between feet-first slides and whatever slide Trubisky was trying to attempt. So since quarterbacks do not have to slide feet first in order to be considered giving themselves up, the penalty was correctly called and the punishment was handed out. Though, it feels a little bit light.
A glancing blow to a quarterback’s head without the intent to forcibly strike it is worth a $20,054 fine. If the idea behind said punishment is to drill it into defenders’ heads that you’re going to be punished harshly whether or not you meant to hit the quarterback in the noggin, then that’s fine. After all, isn’t the purpose of handing down a worthwhile fine to dissuade future action that’s worthy of a penalty? However, if that’s not the case across the board, then what’s the point?