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NFL fines Jackie Battle $21,000 for crown of helmet violation

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Tennessee’s Jackie Battle is the first NFL running back to be fined under the new rule against lowering the crown of the helmet into an opponent.

The NFL has confirmed that Battle was fined $21,000 for a crown of the helmet violation in Sunday’s game against the Texans. Battle lowered his helmet into Houston’s Danieal Manning.

Although the rule has been much discussed, it’s still frequently misunderstood. So we’ll repeat here the exact wording of the rule:

Article 8: Initiating Contact with the Crown of the Helmet. It is a foul if a runner or tackler initiates forcible contact by delivering a blow with the top/crown of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside the tackle box (an area extending from tackle to tackle and from three yards beyond the line of scrimmage to the offensive team’s end line). Incidental contact by the helmet of a runner or tackler against an opponent shall not be a foul.”

Unfortunately, it seems that the rule has enough gray area that even the pros can’t agree on when it should be called: The officials on the field did not penalize Battle, and when PFT checked with a league source on Sunday about the hit, we were told that the collision wasn’t “clearly outside the tackle box” and therefore the officials were right not to throw the flag.

But after the league office reviewed the hit this week, it was determined that it was, in fact, a crown of the helmet violation. And Battle has the dubious distinction of being the first running back disciplined under this controversial new rule.

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20 Responses to “NFL fines Jackie Battle $21,000 for crown of helmet violation”
  1. justintuckrule says: Sep 20, 2013 1:52 PM

    From now on, can you put a pic of the alleged infraction with the post instead of a regular pic of the player? 99% of us did not watch this ho-hum game.

    Michael David Smith: We can only use images that we have the rights to, and none of the photo companies we subscribe to had a photo of the hit in question.

  2. aaronmushrush says: Sep 20, 2013 1:56 PM

    Jamaal Charles clearly led with the crown of his helmet last night, no flag was thrown.

  3. orivar says: Sep 20, 2013 1:57 PM

    So many fines this year and we only made it through the first game of Week 3.

  4. xLith says: Sep 20, 2013 1:59 PM

    There was no flag thrown on this one either. I was watching the game and remember the exact play. He lit up Manning and no flag. I was like well, what the hell is the new rule for then?

  5. nebster21 says: Sep 20, 2013 2:06 PM

    Green Bay RB Starks should be fines for the same thing against Merriweather. He dipped his head leading with the crown of his helmet.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 20, 2013 2:12 PM

    Can’t you guys just do a full press interview with Blandino and put him on the spot to deliver clear answers? He can’t provide the answers, so you guys should hit him with those questions that would stump him!

  7. ufostomper says: Sep 20, 2013 2:16 PM

    Jamal Charles was inside the tackles, no penalty or fine for that one!

  8. ccjcsr says: Sep 20, 2013 2:20 PM

    Stop Whining, the Eagles stink!

  9. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 20, 2013 2:45 PM

    I support this article.

  10. beardinals says: Sep 20, 2013 2:46 PM

    Has to be on the list of besst football player names.

  11. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 20, 2013 2:48 PM

    It was an obvious penalty… I was screaming at my TV that it didn’t get called.

    Plus the announcers of that game were complete idiots.

    The conversation about the safety on Chris Johnson was just absurd….

  12. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Sep 20, 2013 3:02 PM

    Roger really wants that new boat.

  13. justintuckrule says: Sep 20, 2013 3:06 PM

    8to80texansblog says:
    Sep 20, 2013 2:48 PM
    It was an obvious penalty… I was screaming at my TV that it didn’t get called.

    Plus the announcers of that game were complete idiots.

    The conversation about the safety on Chris Johnson was just absurd….
    You were screaming for a penalty after your defender got run over? You sir should go watch badminton or something. And here I thought Texans were tough folk.

  14. AD2K5 says: Sep 20, 2013 3:34 PM

    AD might get a fine or two after this Sunday’s game. Be very afraid, Browns defense, be very afraid…

  15. Andre's Johnson says: Sep 20, 2013 3:39 PM

    justintuckrule, that’s not really fair. I thought it was an obvious violation at the time, as well. It may be a weird rule, but it exists and the officials should flag it, especially in obvious cases. Manning wasn’t expecting Battle to lower his head and ram him. You know why? Because he knows it’s against the freaking rules.

  16. ralphwilsonisrich says: Sep 20, 2013 4:00 PM

    What does the league have dart board for theses fines

  17. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 20, 2013 4:25 PM


    Seriously…. you’re criticizing me for being upset that an obvious flag wasn’t thrown…

    The play resulted in a first down and the drive resulted in a TD.

    I’m not a fan of these new rules but I didn’t write the rules. And if they’re there, I expect them to be enforced….

  18. faulkn22 says: Sep 20, 2013 5:56 PM

    They should fine Suh.

  19. vaughnjoe says: Sep 20, 2013 6:04 PM

    Its gonna be too hard to determine what is and isnt a full crown hit. Also Jackie Battle cant afford 21,000 grand!!

  20. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 20, 2013 6:17 PM

    8to80texansblog says:

    It was an obvious penalty… I was screaming at my TV that it didn’t get called.

    Yes, as if there aren’t obvious penalties by both teams in every single game every single week aren’t called.

    The Pats repeatedly had pass rushers literally tackled from behind by O-linemen against the Jets last week right in front of the official but they were never called for holding on those plays. So what ? There were a few things that the Pats could well have been called for but weren’t as well.

    It all balances out.

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