Lions coach Jim Schwartz thinks the NFL is inconsistent in the way it enforces player safety rules, and he was particularly unhappy about one penalty that wasn’t called against the Bears on Sunday.
Late in the Lions’ 40-32 win, the Bears tried an onside kick and Lions receiver Kris Durham jumped on the ball and covered it up on the ground. As Durham was lying on the ground, Bears linebacker Jon Bostic delivered a hard hit to the small of Durham’s back. The officials didn’t throw a flag on Bostic, and Schwartz thinks they should have.
“He took a big shot,” Schwartz said of Durham. “I still can’t believe that. We talk a lot about player safety and things like that, and he’s laying prone on the ground, he’s giving himself up, and he takes a helmet right to the back and we don’t get any call there. It’s a little hypocritical to talk about player safety when we allow that to go, allow that to not get called. But Kris toughed it out.”
Schwartz’s team knows well that the NFL has made penalizing players who jeopardize the safety of their opponents a high priority. Bostic will likely be fined, but Schwartz is right to wonder why he wasn’t flagged.