Officials seem to miss a pair of crown-of-helmet violations

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Through 65 preseason games and 17 regular-season games, the NFL’s players had not violated the rule prohibiting use of the crown of the helmet by offensive or defensive players.

None of those games had featured Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather.

In his first appearance of the season (he played in only one game last year), Meriweather put the crown of his helmet into the helmet of Packers running back Eddie Lacy, giving him an possible concussion.  (Pam Oliver of FOX reports it’s a concussion.)

No flag was thrown.  The league says the play will be reviewed.

The league also will review a hit applied by Titans running back Jackie Battle, who dropped his helmet into a Houston defender.  Battle’s hit appeared to involve as much of the front of the helmet as the top of the helmet.   No flag was thrown there, either.

For both plays, the question could be whether the contact occurred inside the tackle box, whether the tactic remains legal.

22 responses to “Officials seem to miss a pair of crown-of-helmet violations

  1. Meriweather should have been thrown out for that one. Blatant spearing right in front of a ref. How he didn’t see it, I’ll never know. Meriwether is just a dirty player. Even when he was with the Patriots he was doing this.

  2. I laugh now every time I hear the name lacy, it seriously discredits a fan base when the proclaim greatness so quickly for a guy who hasn’t done anything. He had 1 decent preseason game then accounted for like 10 yards combined the next 2 and all that he’s the best back since yada yada went out the Window. Males ever single one of you look like morons. He may very well turn out to be good, but all the hooting and hollering you’d swear he’d actually accomplished something already. Please for the rest of us, save your proclamations for when they’ve done something. Right now you ear crow fools.

  3. He was a stupid player while he was with the Pats and he hasn’t gotten any smarter since then. This is exactly the sort of thing the Pats dumped him for.

  4. The one hit that takes Merriweather out wasn’t blatant. He was going to hit him in the side/ribs/shoulder area and Starks drops his head, reduces his size and takes the blow. There was nothing dirty about that play.

  5. The Jackie Battle hit didn’t deserve a flag because it was inside the tackle box. Meriweather’s first helmet to helmet hit was a spear. He launched himself up and into Lacy’s jaw. His second one on Starks was just as bad. Meriweather should have two flags right now.

  6. The NFL should have a set of clear rules in place that allow for a chance of consistency throughout the season in terms of how they are applied. Maybe Blandino can shed some light on the confusion? But I doubt it because he seems to be confused about the rule himself. I hope the NFL was working with a pencil when they wrote this language.

  7. Seems like with only one game down, there has been an alarming number of mistakes, bad calls and complete misses by the officials. Who holds them accountable? Players get fines, suspensions and public ridicule for their mistakes while the people responsible for decorum on the field get a pass? I say, if it’s not called then players should not be fined after the fact which would hold the officials to a higher level of officiating. If it’s not caught on tape when reviewed on the field then too bad. This system of only fining players and franchises only serves to line the pockets of the NFL and leaves room for speculations of “fixes” on the part of the NFL.

  8. It’s funny parrots keep repeating the same line – “He lead with his helmet.” Are players supposed to lead with their feet?

  9. @irishgary, I’d call into question how many people you’ve tackled. First unless your some kind of mutant, your head is above your shoulders, second it never felt “good” to tackle someone because its a phyiscal struggle, so why not inflict some pain on them.

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