NFL to Suspend and Fine Players for Illegal Hits
The announcement comes after last weekend's games that produced a several hits and tackles that led to players being injured.
NFL will suspend players who make illegal hits or tackles.
The announcement by NFL vice president of football operations Ray Anderson comes after last weekend's games that produced a several hard hits and tackles that led to players being knocked out of games.
However, the league said Tuesday afternoon that players involved in last weekend's incidents would be fined, and not suspended.
Pittsburgh's James Harrison was tagged for 75,000 dollars while New England's Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta's Dunta Robinson will lose 50,000 dollars apiece.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league wanted to give players fair warning before it begins suspensions for flagrant hits.
Harrison sidelined two Browns players with head injuries after violent hits.
Robinson's scary head-first collision with Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson knocked both of them out of their contest with concussions.
Baltimore tight end Todd Heap took a jarring hit from Meriweather that Heap called "one of those hits that shouldn't happen."
In the past, players were either fined or ejected for illegal hits.
"We're certainly concerned," Anderson said. "The fundamentally old way of wrapping up and tackling seems to have faded away. A lot of the increase is from hits to blow guys up. That has become a more popular way of doing it.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he was in favor of stricter enforcement against helmet hits.
"I'm all for player safety," Tomlin said Tuesday. "I think it is the proper initiative that the NFL has.
Even before the new guidelines were confirmed on Tuesday, players and others in the sport were debating just which of the weekend's publicized hits were within the rules and which were not.
Andre Johnson, an All-Pro wide receiver in Houston, said that violence is intrinsic to the game.
"A lot of times, guys are just out there playing and they'll just go and get you," he said. "I don't really think they're thinking about the helmet-to-helmet contact.