Rodney McLeod not fined for hit that concussed Emmanuel Sanders

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During the Rams’ 22-7 victory over the Broncos last Sunday, safety Rodney McLeod knocked Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders out of the game with a concussion when he hit Sanders while Sanders was trying to catch a ball from Peyton Manning.

McLeod was flagged for the hit during the game, although the chance for repeated viewings it didn’t look like McLeod violated the league’s rules on contacting a defenseless receiver. The league often fines players it feels were guilty of such penalties, but PFT has confirmed with the league that McLeod has not been fined.

It doesn’t sound like that will be greeted as bad news by Sanders. The receiver said after Friday’s practice that he thought it was a clean hit while also wishing McLeod made more of a play on the ball.

“I think it was a legal hit. Obviously, [McLeod] didn’t hit me in the head or lead with the head. He hit me with the shoulder. But in terms of the intentions of targeting, I feel like the guy could have had an opportunity to go for the ball, but I think his intentions the whole time were to come over and deliver a blow. That’s the only thing that I’m not too happy about,” Sanders said, via “I feel like the National Football League, although it is a violent game, you’re also supposed to protect your brother. And most free safeties, they like interceptions. Obviously, his intent was to try and make a statement, and I guess he did.”

Sanders has been listed as probable to play Sunday after practicing on Friday for the first time this week.

46 responses to “Rodney McLeod not fined for hit that concussed Emmanuel Sanders

  1. Steve Atwater or Ronnie Lott would have demolished you also. This is tackle football not flag. I hate that the NFL has gotten so soft. smh.

  2. I guess the Broncos fans calling for McLeod to be suspended aren’t going to be too happy now.

  3. if anyone should be fined for that, it’s manning. what a terrible wounded duck of a pass that was, completely leaving sanders out to dry.

  4. McLeod put an NFL style hit on Sanders. Glad he wasn’t fined. He shouldn’t have been penalized either. Maybe receivers and quarterbacks should wear skirts so you remember not to hit them that hard.

  5. Greg Williams at it again. I guess he didn’t like Sanders burning them on that go route for a TD. He fixed that right quick!

    How’s his old saying go again? Kill the head and the body will die? Indeed.

  6. shayeezy says:
    if anyone should be fined for that, it’s manning. what a terrible wounded duck of a pass that was, completely leaving sanders out to dry.

    I think we can probably get used to more of that for the remainder of the season.

  7. Sanders is the same guy who praised Manning as a better leader then Rothelisberger but I don’t recall Ben ever throwing a wounded duck so he could be laid out.

  8. Nor should he have been. It was a clean hit, actually one hell of a defensive play. Timed well, executed well…and is hard ass football. Please don’t take that away.


  9. Wait a minute, I’m not sure about how I feel about the rules either, but they are the currently written rules, right? How was that not a “hit on a defenseless receiver”? Sanders was fully extended off of his feet and 2 feet from the ground. The Safety gets to Sanders’ level and smashed him to the ground, not even a millisecond after his fingertips touch the ball. I’m not saying it was a bad play in terms of not allowing the receiver to catch the ball, but how was that not a hit on a defenseless receiver?

  10. This just shows the inconsistency of the NFL’s fining and lack of player safety. This is the second time this season a bronco wide receiver has been defenseless gotten hit and received a concussion and the opposition player wasn’t fined.

  11. You’re right, it’s written that way. I guess I think it shouldn’t be is all. In the Old days, a receiver would protect himself, or go for the ball knowing you’ll be hit. It takes that intimidation of a thundering safety away. It doesn’t have to mean the receivers get killed on a play, they just learn you’re not going to want to get up for that ball in my backfield.

  12. What should be illegal his having your mommy skim a post and type a reply for you. I say this to all the obviously illiterate fans with the “stop crying” type posts. If you learned to read you’d know that he said he felt it was a legal hit. He also implied that a better safety probably would’ve tried for a play on the ball. And thanks to the mouth breathers that turned this into a slam on Peyton, you’re nothing if not consistent.

  13. As difficult as it is to deliver a clean hit these days, McLeod did so.

    Fault Manning, and look for receivers to have aligator arms around him in the near future.

  14. I think there is a middle ground where you can have empathy for both McLeod and Sanders. It bothers me how people feel like they need to trash Sanders (who sounds pretty reasonable) for not wanting to get annihilated.

    Dan “I should have retired from broadcasting 20 years ago” Fouts droned on like a complete idiot about how unjust the flag was while Sanders was still down trying to figure out what city he was in.

    I actually think everybody got it right here. The play DID deserve a flag because the WR was defenseless and the spirit of the new rules dictate that a guy should have an opportunity to catch the ball without being destroyed. At the same time, McLeod didn’t hit him in the head and doesn’t deserve to be fined.

  15. For those that were asking earlier, the terms “defenseless receiver” and “targeting” apply only on hits to the head and neck area. This hit was to the receiver’s shoulder and upper body, was legal, and should not have even been flagged.

  16. I hate that Sanders got hurt but man….. That hit took me back to the Steve Atwater/Dennis Smith days. That reminded me of when Atwater knocked himself and two other guys out in superbowl 32.

  17. McCleod wasn’t close enough to have a play on the ball. His only chance was to separate the receiver from the ball which is what he did.

    Sour grapes from someone who was lit up like a Christmas tree.

  18. Slow your roll there Emanuel , “intent” will be the focus of next years db targeting.

  19. Look at all the angry donkey fans….too bad. A better question is why do so many donkey receivers get concussions????

  20. it’s funny to see the rants when you’re not the guy getting KO’d. tackle football,got it, Ronnie Lott would’ve laid him out too,got it. Ronnie Lott is going to get a chunk of that concussion lawsuit money.

  21. If you are a defender in this situation, what do you do?

    A – intercept or bat down the ball
    B – easily keep the WR from catching it by hitting his arms
    C – try to hurt the receiver with no regard for the ball or player safety

    McLeod went for C, and the Rams are coached to be dirty by Fisher and Williams. (Fisher’s other apprentice Schwartz the same way)

  22. This is the first time in recent memory that the NFL has NOT fined someone for making a great football play. This shouldn’t be news. The fact that this is news says a lot about the direction of the game. Football is about aggression, toughness, intimidation, and the will to win. When you try to take any of that away it becomes a lesser product. The current NFL is concerned with safety, “no cussing”, no hitting, and no practicing to name a few. I think if Goodell was managing the ballet those would be good things to do but this is the NFL and making the changes he’s making is ruining the NFL. Keep the game as it once was, make small changes, and don’t wreck our game!!!

  23. Broncos are taking a risk playing Sanders this week, but Peyton Manning wants the receivers that he is comfortable with.
    The risk of multiple concussions goes up when players are rushed back too early. He did the tests and he passed but in some other places, it would be mandatory for him to miss the next game as a safety precaution. This will be a big deal if/when Emmanuel Sanders gets hit.
    The Commish talks a good game re player safety but the danger of brain damage from multiple concussions from rushing a player back too early cannot be overstated.

  24. Listen up Flo, Football is a manly contact sport. If you cant get to the ball then you separate the WR from the ball with a blast. What is player safety? Don’t play.
    IF the NFL would simply take all these “postage stamp” shoulder pads and replace them with pads of the 60’s-70’s, slow down the speed of the game,just a little, there might be less head concussions. Speed kills.

  25. helicopterpilot13 says:
    Nov 21, 2014 4:35 PM
    Saunders: Quit crying. It was a clean hit that shut your yapping mouth.

    You need to greatly improve your reading comprehension skills. No where was Sanders crying nor did he say it wasn’t a clean hit.

  26. There would be a lot less injuries, especially serious ones, if people stopped expecting the rules to protect them from violent hits and started playing the game where they have to try to protect themselves.

    Back in the day, you had guys in the back end that scared you, so you wouldn’t go for some balls because you knew they’d take your head off. Well now, people are taught the hit is illegal so they go for everything and don’t know how to protect themselves from big hits.

    It’s no different than putting a helmet on an infant. He’ll never learn that hitting his head actually hurts. When the helmet comes off, when he does fall, he hasn’t learn how to protect himself and be careful. Much more serious consequences as a result.

  27. This is 100% inconsistent with other NFL flags & fines for hits. This was a completely appropriate hit that shouldn’t have been flagged. But it does appear that certain teams are targeted to be flagged & fined more frequently & harshly than others for the exact same type of play. Sad state of disrepair the NFL is in today! Makes the games boring & predictable.

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