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Walker on receiving end of helmetless head butt

Walker Getty Images

The Thursday night game between the Colts and the Titans has gotten chippy, to say the least.

And it has included Colts linebacker Erik Walden applying a head butt after a play to Titans tight end Delanie Walker.  Making the gesture even more troubling is that Walden was wearing a helmet, and Walker wasn’t.

Walden was flagged but not ejected.  It’s possible he’ll be getting suspended.  The NFL has drawn a bright line between things that happen during a play and things that happen after the play has ended.  For misconduct occurring following the conclusion of a play, the penalties tend to be more severe.

With the league concerned about protecting player heads, the decision of one player wearing a helmet on his head to hit another player in the unhelmeted head with that helmet likely will trigger a harsh penalty.

If, for example, a cartoonish WWE arm stomp after the whistle by Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh resulted in a two-game suspension in November 2011, Walden’s butt to Walker’s bare head should be met with at least that much.

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56 Responses to “Walker on receiving end of helmetless head butt”
  1. omniscient48 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:53 PM

    How did the idiot officials miss that? It was blatantly obvious.

  2. harrycanyon says: Nov 14, 2013 9:53 PM

    He should have been ejected. If he ends up with any punishment from the headbutt, then the refs should be penalized as well for not ejecting him. Refs always get a free pass on calls that later warrant a fine, but are not even flagged. It’s wrong.

  3. nfl4days says: Nov 14, 2013 9:53 PM

    How does he not get ejected?

  4. jakec4 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:55 PM

    Mike Carey once ejected Suggs from a game for having “malice in his heart”. I guess helmet to no helmet headbutt aren’t as egregious.

  5. athwartships says: Nov 14, 2013 9:56 PM

    You totally left out the fact it was a missed face mask where the helmet missing was literally ripped from his head….then he was head butt.

  6. bucrightoff says: Nov 14, 2013 9:56 PM

    Refs seem to be having a good night: blew the 12 men call, somehow don’t toss Walden and nearly call a penalty on a dive by Fitzpatrick.

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 14, 2013 9:56 PM

    The officiating in this game is again horrible, yet no Blandino to explain why or how he plans to stop it because frankly he has no clue.

    And TEN blew it by not calling a TO with 34 seconds left since IND didn’t have enough TOs left to do anything about it. So they lost the opportunity for a free return and possible FG to end the half. Oh well, they’ll never figure that stuff out.

  8. noeffinway says: Nov 14, 2013 9:57 PM

    Thank you, Florio, for acknowledging (finally) how that so-called stomp was blown out of proportion.

  9. tjacks7 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:59 PM

    Should have been an ejection. Ref was five feet away. The refs are blowing this one big time. The other ref missed 3 guys on the field all within 3 feet of him. Uhhhhh, how do you miss that??

  10. DawgPound83 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:00 PM

    As lame as it is, i wouldnt be surprised to see Walker getting disciplined for throwing a punch after getting headbutted

  11. beelicker says: Nov 14, 2013 10:03 PM

    He kinda hit ‘im more or less ‘theatrically’ in the beard area with fine control albeit also seeming to premeditate

  12. turrrds says: Nov 14, 2013 10:04 PM

    Suh will probably get suspended for this. Just to send him a message.

  13. @Cereal_22 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:05 PM

    Lets make a big deal about it !!!

  14. thejohnsmith1122 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:06 PM

    Not surprising he didn’t get ejected. That’s the NFL refs for you.

    We all know what’s gonna happen now…NFL reviews film, suspends player for one game, player appeals, NFL lowers to just a petty fine.

  15. onbucky96 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:06 PM

    No surprise, Walden was an idiot in Green Bay as well. Had a domestic issue w/the wife, great signing Mr.Irsay.

  16. 4onafloor says: Nov 14, 2013 10:07 PM

    Considering that Walden pulled off Walker’s helmet before the headbutt, I’d have to agree with the two-game suspension theory.

  17. vincelombardisghost says: Nov 14, 2013 10:07 PM

    Erik Walden is a dumba**. Should have been ejected. Needs to be suspended for two games minimum for stupidity if nothing else.

  18. tictoccpthook says: Nov 14, 2013 10:08 PM

    Rapporport at halftime on Thursday night football continues his bull..t talk about Rothlesburger being dissatisfied with Pittsburgh. Rapporport is the one who should look for a new job; he’s total bull.

  19. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:11 PM

    Stunned that Walden wasn’t ejected.

  20. prov1x says: Nov 14, 2013 10:15 PM

    Agreed. Shocked he want ejected.

  21. metrocritical says: Nov 14, 2013 10:15 PM

    Though there was no apparent injury, that infantile gesture should cost Walden dearly. Understandably, a player may cross some boundaries during the zealous pursuit of a play between whistles but Walden’s stunt was immature, cowardly and wholly unjustifiable. He should’ve been ejected on the spot and now the league will need to impose sanctions that the refs didn’t have the gumption to pursue.

  22. timegambit says: Nov 14, 2013 10:19 PM

    Probably ruined Walden’s helmet.

  23. 25yearindyfan says: Nov 14, 2013 10:23 PM

    Colts should cut him. What a disgrace.

  24. youreincorrect says: Nov 14, 2013 10:23 PM

    Uhhh what about the punch thrown after by Walker? Not saying Walden shouldn’t be suspended, but reaction can and should punished as well.

  25. titansbro says: Nov 14, 2013 10:26 PM

    First he rips his helmet off & then headbutts him with his helmet still on with no apparent provocation? Punk move. Should have been tossed instantly. No less than a 2 game suspension is good enough. And did I see him on the very next play trying to rip Chris Johnson’s head off in the pile after the play was over? Couldn’t tell if that was him or Jean-Francois.

  26. emoney826 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:27 PM

    This was one guy I’m glad the packers didn’t resign. He had a fluke overproductive year when we won the super bowl, but hasn’t done anything since, except beat his girl and get beat by kapernick last year in the playoffs. He was pathetic.

  27. sphincterorleaveher says: Nov 14, 2013 10:31 PM

    I don’t always headbutt, but when I do…

  28. schmitty2 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:35 PM

    It’s probably safe to assume Delanie Walker didn’t wake up this morning thinking he was going to end up having something in common with Walden’s ex-girlfriend.

  29. journeyman36 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:36 PM

    Someone should headbutt the Colts’ offense.

  30. 6thsense79 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:36 PM

    Blow to the head call on Mathis in which he didn’t hit Fitz in the head. Walker gets helmet ripped off and then is head butted by the same player. Officials almost penalize colts on phantom late hit when Fitz tripped out of bounds. What the hell is going on out there?

  31. titanmanic says: Nov 14, 2013 10:37 PM

    Nfl wants the colts to win

  32. shayeezy says: Nov 14, 2013 10:45 PM

    the refs in the NFL are a frickin’ joke. it’s a shame how often they impact the outcome of games or even player safety with their incompetence.

  33. bennyb82 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:53 PM

    The NFL is probably going to fine Suh for this…

  34. realitycheckbaby says: Nov 14, 2013 11:15 PM

    Refs should be suspended too.

  35. weaselpuppy says: Nov 14, 2013 11:15 PM

    He’ll be suspended for having Ndamakong Suh in his heart.

    Then Suh will be suspended for being a bad influence. Just to get his attention, right Merton “Chicken Neck” Hanks?

  36. jerjaxon says: Nov 14, 2013 11:17 PM

    If Suh did that, he would be publicly executed.

  37. taintedlombardis says: Nov 14, 2013 11:25 PM

    Colts are the least penalized team in the league for a reason. They want to market Luck.

  38. nfl4days says: Nov 14, 2013 11:27 PM

    @beelicker: you mean the MOUTH?

  39. dodohead418 says: Nov 14, 2013 11:40 PM

    Refs should be fined for every miss call the make and for every flag that was suppose to be thrown!

  40. robertb655 says: Nov 14, 2013 11:41 PM

    Walker approached HIM! As if daring him to do it! Both deserve some consequence for the action, period. But yes, Walden is A LOT more at fault. Just saying, Walker wasn’t exactly innocent in this

  41. gohawks7 says: Nov 15, 2013 12:04 AM

    Sub human…

  42. theysone says: Nov 15, 2013 12:11 AM

    He’s good. Wasn’t helmet to helmet.

  43. ywolfeman says: Nov 15, 2013 12:11 AM

    The officials didn’t miss it. the flag was thrown for the facemask so he was looking right at them. No reason this should have gone unpunished with player safety being so important.
    Vince McMahon says for Indy it’s OK.

  44. samgeyser7 says: Nov 15, 2013 12:40 AM

    Why doesn’t the NFL eject players on the field when they see a clear violation? One ref was right there and saw what happened with the ripping of the helmet prior to the head-butt. Teams need to enforce the violations. Every coach saw it or heard about it in real time. If you get ejected during a game, you should have to sit the following game as well. Why are there so many problems with the NFL these days? Goodell?

  45. vikinganswer says: Nov 15, 2013 1:39 AM

    Maybe if you properly fitted your helmet it wouldn’t come off so easily. If it does, walk to get your helmet and don’t try to play gangster with the guy. Simple!

  46. vikinganswer says: Nov 15, 2013 1:40 AM

    And both players should have been tossed. Head butt by Walden goon and punch by Walker.

  47. jeffbye says: Nov 15, 2013 2:02 AM

    Mike Carey and his crew are the most inconsistent officiating crew in the NFL. Missed calls, bad calls, completely made up calls… I don’t know how this guy is employed.

    I’m going to be very surprised if he doesn’t get a huge fine if not at least a one game suspension.

  48. thegreatgabbert says: Nov 15, 2013 2:07 AM

    Which is still preferable to being on the receiving end of a headless butt helmet. Or a buttless helmet head. Probably.

  49. binkystevens says: Nov 15, 2013 2:23 AM

    Who cares? Neither of these teams matter in the NFL. Seriously, zero relevance. Both were once historic franchises that left their original city for greed. Pathetic.

  50. chefjayson says: Nov 15, 2013 2:52 AM

    Colts fan here. I’m looking forward to seeing what our project 1st round pick Bjorn Werner has learned about the NFL in the next few games. Walden should absolutely be suspended for that. There is no room in the NFL for that garbage. This isn’t even a “protect the players” issue…this is “just be a decent person” issue. Who rips off another players helmet, then headbutts him in the face after he gets upset about getting his helmet ripped off?! 4 years, 16 mill. He was way overpaid to begin with. Cut your losses. Let the rook learn. Those kinda stupid things are how franchises get bad reputations. Get him outta Indy!

  51. mclovin07 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:13 AM

    Not a fan of either team, but when I saw that, I was livid. The head referee should be suspended for missing that without pay…and how can that not be reviewed?? Seriously, that was bad…

  52. jabroni1 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:34 AM

    Come on, It’s obvious the helmeted guy hit the unhelmeted guy in the pads. I have no skin in this game and am not a fan of either team. I guess you can call it a head butt if someone uses their head. But it wasn’t helmet to head contact by any means.

    This whole GOTCHA! thing is getting quite silly.

    Signed Incognito…

  53. racerx1225 says: Nov 15, 2013 7:02 AM

    USUALLY YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE RAIDERS TO GET A NON CALL LIKE THAT.

  54. unclemosesgreen says: Nov 15, 2013 8:50 AM

    At least a 2 gamer. What a punk move.

  55. bobby2478 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:00 AM

    What’s the point of having the possibility of being ejected if the refs are to chicken to EVER eject anybody for ANYTHING? It’s a penalty that is never enforced, and so players rightfully ignore it.

    Refs need to grow a pair and start ejecting some of these clowns that do stuff like that. That is the ONLY thing that will make them think twice about doing something stupid. Suspension after the fact ignores the impact the player who should have been ejected still has on the game since they stay in the game.

  56. whodeybacker says: Nov 15, 2013 9:27 AM

    The officiating this year has been really bad. Bring back the replacements.

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