Early on Wednesday, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs posted a tweet that said he was having a “shaking my head moment” because his teammate Jon Bostic was fined $21,000 for a hit against the Chargers in last week’s preseason game.
Briggs compared Bostic’s hit to the one that knocked Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller out for the season and, as many others have done with similar hits, wondered why the former is illegal while the latter is legal. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed Briggs’ report and adds that Bostic was fined for lowering his head while hitting a defenseless receiver.
You can see the hit on NFL.com, where the caption explains that Bostic’s tackle forced an incompletion on a pass to Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie. The URL for the video reads pretty much the same way, except the word “spectacular” is used as a modifier for tackle.
It’s not the first time that the NFL has sent mixed messages about the nature of hits that are celebrated in highlight videos by the league and its broadcasting partners while the men making them are penalized. Even without the word “spectacular” to describe Bostic’s hit, the league’s website is highlighting it as a great play by Bostic and not a violation of the league’s rules which suggests the league needs to be more consistent with its messaging or the rules governing which hits are illegal need to change.