In the first half of Sunday’s back-and-forth loss to the Bengals, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley left with a concussion.
The concussion came after Finley took a blow to the head from Bengals safety George Iloka. Iloka likely will soon be taking a blow to his paycheck.
A league source explained on Sunday that the NFL believes Finley clearly was in a defenseless posture when struck, which means he shouldn’t have been hit in the head or neck area. The only question was whether Finley was indeed struck in the head by Iloka.
Video from the play indicates that Iloka indeed struck Finley in the head.
It was similar to last week’s hit by Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans on Chargers receiver Malcom Floyd. Finley ducked into the contact, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to determining whether an infraction occurred.
As in Floyd’s case, the flag mistakenly wasn’t thrown. As in Floyd’s case, a fine could be coming for Iloka.
The extent to which the contact is unavoidable becomes a mitigating factor, which could prompt the NFL to not fine Iloka — or which could help Iloka win the case on appeal.
If Iloka isn’t fined, it will be very hard to reconcile the Ryans-Floyd hit with the Iloka-Finley collision.