NFL has not approved an automatic ejection rule

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When Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan knocked out Packers receiver Davante Adams with a vicious (and illegal) helmet-to-helmet hit on Thursday, some argued that Trevathan should have been the first player to be sent to the showers under the league’s new rule mandating automatic ejections for egregious hits to the head.

Trevathan wasn’t the first player ejected under the new rule, because there is no new rule.

Contrary to a March 2017 report from NFL Media that the “rule on automatic ejections for egregious hits to the head was approved,” an NFL spokesman has informed PFT that the rule was not approved or otherwise adopted. This explains, as we noted earlier in the day, the absence of any reference to an automatic ejection rule from egregious hits in the 2017 NFL rule book.

This probably makes a suspension for Trevathan less likely. The incident, however, could make an automatic ejection rule inevitable.

If that ever happens, the NFL also should rely not on the officials to spot the ejectable hit in real time but on 345 Park Avenue and/or the on-site replay official to make a decision based on the available visual evidence.

26 responses to “NFL has not approved an automatic ejection rule

  1. How about suspending Trevathan for the corresponding amount of games Adams has to miss? If he doesn’t miss any games, then just fine Trevathan, but if Adams misses three games, then suspend Trevathan three games too.

  2. im a lifelong Bears fan (for some reason) and 2 things really ticked me off last night: 1. not only losing to GB, but also losing the series lead to them. and 2: the hit on Adams. I felt that hit was as horrible and as blatant a cheap shot that a player could have.

  3. That was an unfortunate play because Adams was injured but it was not a dirty play. Adams was not down and Trevathan did not target his head. As Trevathan came in at chest height, Adams started going to the ground and they hit helmet to helmet. This is a contact sport and sometimes two helmets are going to collide.

  4. bjwbrown2011 says:
    10 years ago that hit would have been play of the night.

    You’re right, it would have been. But this isn’t 10 years ago, and neither the players, the league or the media gets to have it both ways.
    We’re in a more safety-conscious era. If players are going to sue the NFL because they got/might get brain injuries (which they allegedly and laughably didn’t know could happen from playing a violent sport) — and if the media is going to back them – then neither players nor the media can complain about the backlash against Danny Trevathan or others for their vicious or unnecessary hits.
    As for the league, they can’t cry “player safety” out of one side of their mouths while selling or promoting such hits like some kind of cartoon violence.
    I’ll say it again, this is NOT 10 years ago. It’s a rough game, played by tough men. But there have to be common-sense limits. It’s time for the players, the league and the media to get on the same page and either put up or shut up.

  5. The hit was fine. It is the nature of the NFL. I can’t stand the fact you have to “let up” as a defender who’s goal is to take the ball carrier to the ground. Adams was still upright and trying to gain more yards. How do you control your body when you are coming in to do whatever it takes to lay the runner down? Hit to the head….give me a break

  6. veloman75 says:
    September 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm
    That was an unfortunate play because Adams was injured but it was not a dirty play. Adams was not down and Trevathan did not target his head. As Trevathan came in at chest height, Adams started going to the ground and they hit helmet to helmet. This is a contact sport and sometimes two helmets are going to collide.

    100 thumbs up!

  7. firerogergoodellnow says:
    September 29, 2017 at 1:13 pm
    How about suspending Trevathan for the corresponding amount of games Adams has to miss? If he doesn’t miss any games, then just fine Trevathan, but if Adams misses three games, then suspend Trevathan three games too.
    ________________________

    So let’s say Luke Keuchly has a similar hit against some scrub 3rd TE in the NFC South. Maybe we just keep our TE out for longer so Carolina has to play without one of the best players in the game!

    Dumb idea.

  8. Was it an intentionally executed dirty play? Hard to say, but I doubt it. However, it is everything the league is trying to get away from. Yes, years ago that would have made a highlight reel. But as has been said, this isn’t “years ago.” In today’s NFL it is up to the defender to be under control, keep his head/helmet in the proper position, and to make certain that he doesn’t hit an opponent in the nck/head area.
    Trevathan was guilty of breaking every one of these points of emphasis. If the league wants to get through to players he is going to have to be suspended for a game.

  9. If they ever approve auto ejection rules Burfict will start telling his cab drivers to just wait and keep the meter running.

  10. beerswithblair says:
    September 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm
    The hit was fine. It is the nature of the NFL. I can’t stand the fact you have to “let up” as a defender who’s goal is to take the ball carrier to the ground. Adams was still upright and trying to gain more yards. How do you control your body when you are coming in to do whatever it takes to lay the runner down? Hit to the head….give me a break
    ————————————————

    The hit wasn’t fine. Anyone who has played football in the past 40 years knows you don’t lead with the top of your helmet.

    Trevathan led with the top of his helmet. Whether he drilled him in the chest, neck, face or missed entirely his move to hit with that portion of his equipment is a dirtyazz move meant to injure.

    Considering how Adams was being held up about the only thing Trevathan could target was his face, and his face is where he put the top of his helmet. That ain’t fine. It’s as cheap a shot as he could get off.

    I hope that Charles Martin gets signed by Green Bay before the next game and that Trubisky is playing by then. Then we can wait for another hit “that was fine”. Well maybe not fine. Martin should have been called for holding on that interception play.

  11. Dirty hit,

    Watch the replay you numb-skulls, he was wrapped up by one player.
    Watch the video his forward progress had stopped one yard ahead an he was being dragged down backwards (he had lost a yard)

    Watch the video he was actually on the way to going down.
    Watch the video there were 3 defensive players in front of him at the time of being wrapped up, these 3 were 6 feet from him. He was going no where.
    Watch the video this dirty hit by #59 he led with his crown of the helmet like a missile to target the head, this rule alone is over 3 years old.

    I’m all for hits, but not to the head. If #59 had targeted the ball, chest, torso or arm holding the ball, no problem, good play. Instead he let emotions get the best of him an attempted injure. Dirty hit.

  12. You know what’s funny about all this?
    If I did that to some guy in a bar or the street or wherever outside a stadium, I’d be arrested and charged with assault.
    Crazy how these guys do things to each other that would get you and me arrested and we watch it and love it.

  13. There’s 3 of these in the last two years now:
    a) Beckham Jr. on Norman
    b) Sherman on Mariota last week
    c) This one

    All should have been INSTANT ejections with loss of game checks. (Note I think the hit on Mariota was the least egregious of the 3 but still think all 3 should have been ejections.)

  14. packmanfan says:
    September 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm
    You know what’s funny about all this?
    If I did that to some guy in a bar or the street or wherever outside a stadium, I’d be arrested and charged with assault.
    Crazy how these guys do things to each other that would get you and me arrested and we watch it and love it.

    3 4 Rate This
    ……

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Almost every sport has something physical too it and yes if your dumb enough to randomly do it at the bar then that’s funny. Lead with your head too there’s nothing to hurt.

  15. Personally, I think the hit was a result of one very frustrated player. Maybe their best player on defense and his teammates were playing badly. I’m sure he regrets it, but that doesn’t change things. I’m sure the league will rule on this swiftly, and it’s gonna hurt.
    I like a comment posted here earlier. Suspended until the injured player comes back.

  16. If the NFL wants a safer game then start blowing the whistle quicker and get rid of down by contact. That would have eliminated the shot the bears WR took in the 1st quarter that drew a flag.

    The game is played to fast to have immediate ejections…when judgements on dirty hits are made they need to be made watching the replay at full speed….Every hit looks bad in slow mo.

  17. It’s hits like that that seem to reflect the beginning of the end of the NFL as we know it. I felt bad for the receiver. Receiver’s need to protect themselves, and get DOWN when they have the opportunity. Protect your HEAD!

  18. All prayers for Devante Adams. The hit, however, was not ejection-worthy. Trevathan was clearly looking to “blow him up” and attempt to cause a fumble while Adams was being held up by the other defenders. Had his helmet landed on the football and drilled the ball loose, it would have been labeled a great play. But it is unfortunate the way it turned out. Game of inches…

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