Report says NFL will start suspending players for “devastating hits”

The NFL is going to announce on Wednesday that moving forward players could face suspension for what the league will define as “devastating hits.”

With that, Steelers LB James Harrison should not have to worry about a suspension for the two hits he laid on Browns WR’s Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi.

You can bet that Harrison, who defended the hits, is probably going to have to pay a hefty fine for the pair of hits that ended the afternoon for the two Browns WR’s.

“If I get fined for that, it’s going to be a travesty,” Harrison said. “They didn’t call (a penalty) on that. There’s no way I could be fined for that. It was a good, clean legit hit. … I didn’t hit that hard, to be honest with you. When you get a guy on the ground, it’s a perfect tackle.”

NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told The Associated Press on Monday that going forward players could face suspension for the helmet to helmet hits.

“There’s strong testimonial for looking readily at evaluating discipline, especially in the areas of egregious and elevated dangerous hits,” he said in a phone interview. “Going forward there are certain hits that occurred that will be more susceptible to suspension.”

Even the Browns players themselves were a bit torn about the hits that Harrison laid on Cribbs and Massaquoi.

“The one against Mohamed was illegal,” Browns tight end Benjamin Watson(notes) said. “I can’t judge his character, I can judge his conduct. It was an illegal hit. He led with his head. He hit Mo right in the head. He dove at his head. Whether he meant to hurt him or not, I can’t comment on that. It was illegal and the league should take care of him with the max, whatever it is.”

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One Response to “Report says NFL will start suspending players for “devastating hits””

  1. John Dubio says:

    Football is a violent game. There are men who put themselves in harms way logging, fishing and mining every day who make a lot less money than NFL players. To suggest a rule change in response to a few hits during one weekend of play is ridiculous. The objectively undefinable concept of a “devastating hit” is absurd and fails to give adequate notice to players of what conduct violates the rule. Those advocating for this rule change need to leave the NFL and form a powder puff league of their own.