Saints fans who zealously have been defending the flag thrown on 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks for hitting quarterback Drew Brees in the neck have suddenly fallen silent.
Saints defensive lineman Akiem Hicks got away with a more obvious infraction in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game at the Georgia Dome.
Hicks hit Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the face with a hand while Ryan was in the pocket. No flag was thrown by referee Ron Winter.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Hicks gets fined next week. Under the standard that was applied to Brooks, Hicks should be making an involuntary contribution to the NFL’s various charitable efforts.
The rules prohibit all forcible blows to the head or neck of defenseless players, which includes quarterbacks in the pocket.