Tackle that broke John Griffin’s leg gets Travis Lewis fined


Jets running back John Griffin’s hope of making the roster came to a swift end when he was dragged down on an illegal horse-collar tackle by Lions linebacker Travis Lewis in the preseason opener. The tackle broke Griffin’s leg and ended his season, and he’ll just have to hope he can fight for a roster spot somewhere next year.

It probably won’t come as much consolation to Griffin, but the NFL has fined Lewis $15,750.

The $15,750 fine is the standard for a horse-collar tackle, and the fact that Griffin’s leg was broken on the play isn’t considered by the NFL in handing out discipline. It has been suggested at times that players who injure opponents with illegal hits should have to sit out just as long as the player they injured, but those suggestions have never gone anywhere.

So Lewis will pay his fine and move on, while Griffin will watch the 2013 NFL season from his couch, presumably with his leg propped up on a pillow.

38 responses to “Tackle that broke John Griffin’s leg gets Travis Lewis fined

  1. On one hand the eye for an eye penalty in lost games is very fair if a dirty hit is made.

    But in today’s crybaby “sniff I didn’t do nuffin wrong” nfl I only see this resulting in extended lawsuits against the league any time they classify a hit as illegal. Plus making it a horrible sticking point in negotiations for a new or revised cba.

  2. It should be an instant suspension, Griffin could have easily made this team behind Powell and Ivory and this could now potentially ruin his entire career, because I don’t know how many shots undrafted players get, but it ain’t many.

  3. This horse-collar rule has been in effect long enough, and discussed widely enough that you’d think it would be all but eliminated by now. Just on a hunch I looked at Horse Collar tackles by team. Wouldn’ t you know since its inception Detroit has been flagged more than any other NFL team for this penalty. Ranking t-1st, t-2nd, t1st the last 3 seasons. Happened to catch the Browns game last night and Detroit is flagged for 3 for personal fouls and (got away with some close ones) At some point aggression has to meet discipline. I love the idea of a hard-nosed team as long as they’re not costing themselves (or others) games.

  4. The team of the illegal tackler should pay the salary of the injured player for the duration of his injury.

  5. “It has been suggested at times that players who injure opponents with illegal hits should have to sit out just as long as the player they injured, but those suggestions have never gone anywhere.”

    Utterly ridiculous. As big and strong as these guys are, and as fast as pro football moves, injuries are going to happen. No one has to like it, but it’s part of the game, and can’t be legislated out.

    You know. . . unless you just ban tackling entirely, which is where it’s headed anyway. A ton of “illegal” hits are such pure judgement calls– specifically the “helmet to helmet” hits where it’s just as much shoulder to shoulder, with the heads knocking because they kind of sit on top of the shoulders. But yea, go ahead, just make it completely and totally impossible for defensive players to do their job.

  6. It is a thought break for Griffin but for years tackling was allowed, front ways back ways sideways or head on. It was called rough tackle and most who played it survived.

    We are becoming a country of whiners controlled by attorneys.

  7. When a player makes an illegal hit on another player causing injury, it would be nice if a small percentage of the perp’s salary went to the injured player while he was out. Then again, we would probably start to see some Derrick Rose’ in the NFL.

  8. Fine dollars should go to the injured player.

    Rump has it that Goodell use the fine revenue for exotic pets at his mansion – just like the Villain he is

  9. You talk about this John griffin like he’s a superstar. I had to look twice while writin this post just to make sure I got it right. Plenty of no names get hurt and lose their careers, sucks but that’s the way of the road. And it’s a headline?!

    I’m sorry for you jets fans, florio, but really is this guy gonna bring you out of the toilet bowl that team sleeps in? Or is he gonna play qb? Is he tebow? No

  10. Did most of the people commenting even see the play? The horse collar was marginal and best and likely unintentional.

    If you start to open the Pandora’s Box of “an eye for an eye” as MDS is implying, then you will have fans across the entire league up in ire.

    It’s football. People are gunna git hurt.

  11. A horse collar is a football move. It’s against the rules, so through the flag and back them up 15 yards.

    There’s no malice involved. No premeditation. He didn’t run onto the field with a crowbar. Suspend him indefinitely? Whiners.

  12. That play could easily have been avoided by Lewis but he didn’t. And this isn’t about the U.S. becoming a country of whiners or the Jets going to the Super Bowl or about Roger Goodell’s gestapo tactics. It’s about a man’s dream and possibly his only chance at that dream. The fine is minimal. Lewis should have been suspended.

  13. It’s not like Lewis and Detroit are going to do anything this year. Maybe he’ll break his leg during practice.

  14. This is such horsepucky! Such an insufficient repercussion on this! Another NFL inconsistency that makes you go scratch your head in dismay. So this guy decides to irresponsibly & blatantly make a highly illegal tackle and ends another players season (& who knows even career maybe) and all he gets is a fine! How can I take this league seriously when it comes to safety?! At the very least this guy should be suspended for a number of games & the offending team’s organization should pay the injured players salary as well as rehab costs. When a player gets injured on a illegal hit that should trigger a multiplier of the normal penalty. I just have no respect for players who risk injuring another professional because of their own inept or sloppy play or lazy technique!! Plus it was a darn preseason game. You really need to pull those measures in a preseason game?! Com’on man! These type of players have no respect for the game or their peers & should be weeded out! Give them 3 strikes & they are gone from the league!

  15. When football has become more on safety than the game this type of tackle should have a severe penalty especially since all player know this rule and can be seen a mile away. One mans career is over for now and the other plays on in the name of safety.

  16. When an illegal hit occurs, the team of the offending player should have to pay the salary of the injured player with the money counting against its salary cap. That doesn’t matter much when it’s an undrafted player or a low-rounder. But it starts to add up. If you take a team like Detroit who consistently leads the NFL in illegal hits, it has to be taught. If it were entirely random, the same team would never lead the league two or three times in a row. Make that money count against the cap, let it add up, and lo and behold the team stops teaching (or allowing) illegal hits.

    And rushbacker you missed the point. The point was not that they are trying to legislate out rough play or tackling. They are trying to legislate out illegal hits.

  17. I was waiting for a comment from Rexy but since he doesn’t watch the Offense I guess we’ll have to wait till he’s had a chance to watch film.

  18. “It has been suggested at times that players who injure opponents with illegal hits should have to sit out just as long as the player they injured, but those suggestions have never gone anywhere.”

    So if a player like JJ Watt hurts the Colts 3rd stringer who’s playing kneel down snaps at the end of a game, the colts can say “oh…actually he’s out for 12-14 months!!! Sorry, JJ can’t play til then!!”

    Its a ridiculous suggestion. Theres too many variables.

  19. first off that was not the worst horse collar tackle i have seen to get fined on , 2nd all fines go to charities the nfl sponsors so stop with that and 3rd the guy wasnt making the team he was behind powell ,ivory, unconditioned mcknight and gun wielding goodson

  20. Having players sit out for as long as the injured would make for great division games.

    Coach:Yea, Billy, I know you are OK, but, you are a 3rd string tackle and their best pass rusher, who injured you 3 weeks ago, just cant play against us this week. So, you’re gonna be “injured” this week.

    Also, to what extent would this apply. Everytime a player limps off the field they will have to review the tape to see who was the last player to make contact just in case his limp keeps him out the nxt week.

    Announcer: 3rd and 5, and Bell runs up the middle for 3, fourth down.
    Color Man: And Bell get ups limping. Looking at the replay it looks like #53 is the last man to touch him. We’ll have to wait to see if Bell plays next week and if #53 will be available as well.

  21. “It has been suggested at times that players who injure opponents with illegal hits should have to sit out just as long as the player they injured, but those suggestions have never gone anywhere.”
    Great idea. If the NFL and the PA want to end this farce that “player safety is our #1 concern”, this rule is a good start. Then, make them all wear mouthgaurds.

    On a side note, I’d like to know where all this money goes that players have to pay in fines. Does it go in Darth Goodell’s pocket?

  22. Didn’t this guy get a free college education to play a game he hoped to be good at and make millions? It’s NFL football, not powderpuff football. They’ve already made it so DBs get called for PI if they look at the WR wrong (well, except for Derelle Revis that is).

    So the guy laid some hot sauce on him. Neither one will probably be on a team for more than camp fodder anyways.

  23. This story will quietly go away only because it’s Griffin. Now if this happened to Tom Brady we would never hear the end of it.

  24. It’s unfortunate but injuries happen. We don’t need to re-evaluate every single rule every time an injury occurs. Not possible to legislate injuries out the game.

  25. Only metaphorically, I’d like to compare this to a DUI. A DUI has a basic penalty. But if you injure or kill someone in the process, the penalty gets stiffer. The deterrent isn’t preached based on the insurance increase, license suspension and fines that every DUI results in, but the potential to kill yourself and others, with the guilt and long prison sentences that come along with it. Do you want to decrease PED usage, wait, I mean horse collar and other illegal tackles? Make the offender sit. They know full well they are grabbing something they shouldn’t and that the fine is small change in comparison to their salary. When they see a potential end of their own career when they look at the horse collar, they will think twice. “Football is a dangerous sport” is not a blanket rebuttal in this regard. You can end a 4.4 40’s life with the change of direction involved here, unless you’d prefer to fine the ball carrier for running so damn fast.

  26. Funny, doesn’t the NFL keep the fine money. When a player gets injured like that from an illegal tackle, they should get the fine money. This poor kid is now out of a job.

  27. Need harsher penalties for horse collars. Tackler should be suspended without pay as long as player is hurt. Only way to stop it.

  28. Based on the number of patriots Pollard has injured, if the policy had been in place to have the perpetrator of the injury to sit as long as the victim, Bernard wouldn’t be playing football (see article just below this one where Pollard hit a guy out of bounds) which might be a good thing.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!