McDonald fined for hit on Bradford, Dunbar not fined for hit on Alex Smith

Getty Images

A defensive player was fined for a hit on a quarterback in Sunday’s Rams-49ers tie, but it wasn’t a hit on the quarterback who was knocked out of the game.

Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar was not fined for his hit on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Although Dunbar did make helmet-to-helmet contact with Smith on the play, Smith was a runner and hadn’t gone into a feet-first slide, which made the hit legal.

Smith said this week that he thinks the Dunbar hit contributed to his concussion, although he said it was a hit he took on a quarterback sneak after that when he really started to have the vision problems that caused him to leave the game.

San Francisco defensive lineman Ray McDonald was fined, however, for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. McDonald was flagged for roughing the passer on the play.

12 responses to “McDonald fined for hit on Bradford, Dunbar not fined for hit on Alex Smith

  1. Is the NFLPA pushing the league for a written policy outlining the after-game penalties that are to be slapped on players?

    Is there a framework or guidelines that the players can observe to avoid these fines? Has any player who appealed his fine been vindicated?

    What are the rules of football?

  2. Ifit
    These rules don’t make sense to me. If you are tackling a quarterback or a guy catching a ball you can’t do helmet to helmet, but if you are tackling a runner it’s ok? In all three situations guys are moving at high speeds, body positions are changing, and where you intended to tackle someone might not be where things wind up. Helmet to helmet should be either legal or not legal period.

  3. Alex should have slid. The hit was legal, there is no need for a fine.

    Sometimes I wonder why more QBs don’t slide earlier. They are literally risking far too much for themselves and their teams to get what? maybe another yard or 2. I suppose could understand if it was 4th down in a close game.

  4. I heard a rumor that The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person has “requested” all of NFL films’ archived footage so He Himself can levy fines on players from the 1960s on.

  5. Did you watch the saints game last year where Donte Whitner hit the guy in the head and knocked him out cold? A runner is moving his helmet, usually down to protect the football and keep his center of gravity low, tacklers take their center of gravity low as well. A helmet to helmet hit is only illegal when a player is “defenseless” in the case of you sacking a quarterback.

  6. I am sorry how was the hit on Smith not a spear. Dunbar bent at the waist and lead with the crown of his helmet. That it was helmet to helmet is not an issue because Smith was a runner and did not slide feet first but you still can not bend over and lead with the top of your helmet (look at the picture above and try to tell me that is not what he did). For some reason the nfl never seems to call spearing even as blatant as that was. I guess they are only interested in enforcing new safety rules.

  7. that is because the league (not unlike the government) can just pull anything out of their arse and expect everyone to believe it as long as they say it is so…there is no system – he (goodell/or his lackey of the week) simply picks and chooses what he wants…

  8. I may be a long-term, die-hard 49er fan but the ruling was exactly right. Smith was a runner at that point in time and he went into the tackle head-first.

    He should have slid, but he didn’t. And if he slid and it was helmet-to-helmet it’d been a dirty shot. But it wasn’t.

    It was just football.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!