If the NFL plans to continue the three-strikes-and-you’re-suspended approach to head shots that it applied to Ravens safety Ed Reed, then Jaguars safety Dawan Landry is one hit away from a suspension.
The NFL has confirmed to PFT that Landry has been fined for illegal hits to the head in two consecutive games: Landry was fined $21,000 for unnecessary roughness for striking Texans tight end Garrett Graham in the head and neck area while Graham was a defenseless receiver in Week 11, and Landry was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness for hitting Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the head and neck area after Luck had already started sliding feet first in Week 10.
When the NFL announced this week that it was suspending Reed, it said the reason was that he had violated the rules against hits to the head of defenseless opponents for a third time. Just like Landry, Reed’s two previous hits to the head included one on a defenseless receiver and one on a quarterback. So by that standard, Landry is one illegal hit from a one-game suspension.
The good news for Landry is that Reed won his appeal of that suspension, which might suggest that the NFL would be less likely to suspend the next player who incurs a third penalty for an illegal hit to the head. If that’s the case, Landry might only (only?) get fined $50,000 next time, which was what Reed’s punishment was reduced to on appeal.
However, NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told Mike Florio on Friday’s Dan Patrick Show that the NFL hasn’t ruled out continuing to suspend three-time offenders for illegal hits, even after Reed’s appeal was successful.
So if Landry doesn’t stop taking shots at opponents’ heads, he’s going to find himself suspended. Or, at the very least, fighting a suspension.